Top cop plans to retire in the district

04:07, Jan 25 2013
Malcolm Johnstone.

"I've been living here for more than two years now and I love it here,'' said Rangiora's new top cop, Senior Sergeant Malcolm Johnston. ''It's a lovely part of the country and there are plenty of great walks for us the go on. And the lakes, Taylor and Sumner, they're great to explore too.''

Just back from climbing Mt Oxford with his wife, Mr Johnston was in charge of the Christchurch South police district, with the Sumner, Hornby, Akaroa, Lyttelton, Lincoln, Leeston, Darfield and Arthurs Pass stations under his command.

However, a big restructuring of police command in Canterbury saw his position disappear.

''I was asked to apply for various positions and I took about 10 seconds to decide to apply for the vacant position of senior sergeant here. There were a lot of eyebrows raised about a senior sergeant applying for an existing position but I'm loving it here.'' 

He has taken over from Senior Sergeant Mike McRandle who was relieving in Rangiora.

Malcolm Johnston enjoys the wide open spaces of North Canterbury and said he liked getting 'stuck in' to the job and 'getting around' so he is known in the local community.


After 33 years in the police force, he has been around a bit - Hamilton, around Auckland, and postings to Tokaroa, Mangakeno, Rotorua, Tauranga and Gisborne before time at the Christchurch and Sydenham stations.

''I've got 3-4 years here and I will probably retire here because I like the area so much. But it's not a retirement job for me. I like to fit in as much as I can.''

He also enjoys his rugby and played at fullback and centre at school, later concentrating on hooker and flanker, although he no longer plays the game now.

''I started as a four year old playing for Eastern Suburbs in Auckland and finished at 47; I'd still be playing if my body allowed me to.''

Today tramping, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding and golf take up his spare time.

Fairfax Media