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Ten Questions with...

Senior Constable Paul (Tosh) Hampton, the new Region 6 director.


  1. What are your goals as a new director of the association?

    We have previously had very good directors in Region 6, so I’ll be starting from a strong platform, but introducing my own style. I have always worked in a rural/provincial area and, as a long-serving delegate for South Canterbury, have always strived to make sure my members are up to date with what’s happening at a national level, and feel they can influence the association’s direction. Collaboration and working together are strengths. It’s also important to focus on ensuring that Police commits to its side of the collective agreements.

  2. Why did you choose policing as a career and have you always worked in Timaru?

    I am Timaru born and bred. Policing was always in the back of my mind due to police being part of the sport I was involved in. I did a few different things, life and employment-wise, but as I approached my mid-20s, the time was right to join. Back then, you couldn’t be posted to your hometown and the only options were in the North Island, so I had chosen Wellington. Towards the end of college, however, Timaru was starting to be known for gang problems and I was asked if I wanted to change to Timaru. Recruits from Auckland thought I was mad because, believe it or not, Timaru was seen as such a dangerous place in the early 90s.

  3. You’re the family harm coordinator for South Canterbury. Tell us about your work?

    Like most police work, it’s rewarding. In among the gloom, every so often, there is a person, or a whānau, who reaches safety or security and you can take pride in your part in helping them to do that.

  4. In 1995, you rescued a drowning woman. What were the circumstances of that incident?

    A young woman was seen sitting on a pier and appeared to be distressed. Three of us went to check and she jumped into the sea when she saw us walking towards her. By the time I jumped in, she was just a hand above the water. It was a pretty rough sea, but I managed to get her to shore, with some minor injuries. It became more dramatic once the Timaru Herald found out about it and printed a story the following week. She is still alive today. It was the opposite of my other claim to fame when I was involved in rescuing elderly rest home patients from their rooms during a fire. It was only my fourth shift in Police and three of us assisted nursing staff to clear one wing while fire and emergency did the same in the other wing. The smoke conditions were pretty bad and we had resorted to passing people through windows as the beds were too big to leave the rooms. I asked one old guy if he was able to walk with some assistance? He said no, and I asked him if he was sure. He said he was pretty sure… turned out he was a double leg amputee.

  5. Tell us about your family?

    Married to Janice for 33 years. Janice has a mental health nursing background and manages a national, health-related “complex caller” team. Our oldest son, James, is married and lives in Melbourne. Mark and Sarah both live in Christchurch with their partners. Unfortunately, Australasia’s two cutest grandchildren, three-year-old Billy and one-year-old Tom, both live in Melbourne.

  6. What’s the best thing about Timaru?

    As many association office staff know, Timaru is the Riviera of the South.
    What more is there to say?

  7. And the worst?

    It’s two hours away from a flight to Melbourne.

  8. How has your community fared during the Covid-19 crisis?

    South Canterbury is a primary industry area with comparatively low unemployment. Without the dependence on tourism that some other areas have, we have coped reasonably well. If Auckland continues to behave, we’ll be all good.

  9. Paul is a perfectly nice name, so why are you called “Tosh”?

    When I started in Police, I had three young children and most police of a similar age didn’t have kids. Apparently, Tosh from the TV show The Bill had lots of kids, so someone started calling me Tosh and it stuck. I’m sure there are police in Timaru who don’t even know who Paul Hampton is!

  10. What do you do to unwind from your busy work life?

    Plan holidays… mostly to Melbourne. Bugger 2020!

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