Zeena Ali becomes first New Zealand police officer to wear hijab as official uniform
18 Nov 2020
Zeena Ali poses for a photo during a training session at Royal New Zealand Police College. Instagram photo
Gulf Today Report
New Zealand police have introduced a hijab into their official uniform to encourage more Muslim women to join the force.
New recruit police Constable Zeena Ali is New Zealand first member to wear a specially designed hijab as part of her uniform.
“It feels great to be able to go out and show the New Zealand police uniform hijab because I was able to take part in the design process,” said Zeena Ali. "I think that seeing it, more Muslim women will want to join as well," she added.
During training for her wing, according to the New Zealand police’s social media, the Royal New Zealand Police College staff organised halal meals and made a prayer room available.
"When I had to go swimming I was able to wear long sleeves — a full swim suit." "It was when I was just training to get into police, that the Christchurch terror attack happened and if I was a fully-fledged constable then I would have gone down to support the victims and their families."
New Zealand police said work to develop the hijab for its uniform began in late 2018 in response to a request from police staff who visited secondary schools.
Zeena Ali was the first recruit to request it as part of her uniform and was invited to take part in the development process.
Constable Ali, who was born in Fiji and moved to New Zealand as a child, told the New Zealand Herald she decided to join the police after the Christchurch terror attack.
"I realised more Muslim women were needed in the police, to go and support people," she told the national daily.