Blue Light has been active in New Zealand for 30 years. It originally began in Australia as a community policing initiative and remains very strong throughout the Pacific Nations and now with representation in the United Kingdom.
Blue Light New Zealand has moved a long way from its early beginnings where the main activity was Blue Light Discos. Blue Light is a nationwide incorporated society which has a national executive committee and operates 74 branches throughout New Zealand. Each branch is responsible for sourcing their own funding and orgaising and conducting their own activities.
Blue Light events are overseen by police officers, who carry out Blue Light activities over and above their normal police core duties along with civilian volunteers. All members are involved in Blue Light as they are passionate about youth particularly those who do not have the opportunity to experience aspects of life that many young people take for granted. Although Blue Light is overseen by police Blue Light does not receive any funding from the New Zealand Police.
The Blue Light National Office is made up of Blue Light members and volunteers including a seconded Police Officer and is based in Auckland. Several branches around New Zealand employ branch coordinators who are responsible for the organisation of their local youth events and programs.
It is widely accepted by the Police and the community at large, that youth who participate in positive recreation and social activities are less likely to get into trouble with the law or take part in potentially harmful activities such as drinking alcohol to excess. They become more involved in their family and the community, remain at school longer and have a more positive outlook on life. Through positive recreation and social experiences young people have fun, make friends, learn social skills, build self-esteem and develop a sense of belonging to their community.
Blue Light also encourages the development of the family unit by holding events which encourage Whanau participation.