'A female? That's got to happen soon' - NZ Police Commissioner on the prospect of a woman taking his job

New Zealand's Police Commissioner is all for a woman taking up his mantle if he steps down.

He and other NZ police officials gathered this week to celebrate 75 years of having women in the ranks.

But, there was a stark reminder that they haven't always been welcome.

Women now make up 20 per cent of the police force, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. Source: 1 NEWS

Former police woman Pauline Joblin told ONE News she was once asked in an interview for the police force if she had ever had a sexual experience.

"I don't know what that had to do with the interview, but I've always remembered that... that's the sort of thing females had to put up with really," she said.

NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush said if he was to ask that question, he would not be in a job today.

Police Minister Judith Collins backed that up saying, "I can assure you, he would be gone".

Today marks the 75th anniversary since women were permitted to join the New Zealand Police. Source: 1 NEWS

Ten women began their training on June 3, 1941 at the NZ Police Academy. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Bush agreed that life hadn't always been fair and equitable in the NZ Police force.

"But, my role as the commissioner is to make sure it is," he said.

It has been nearly 10 years since Dame Margaret Bazley's damning 2007 Commission of Inquiry, which found women were badly under-represented in senior management.

Today, women make up 20 per cent of the police force... and there's still plenty of room for advancement.

Mr Bush said NZ Police's goal was to push that number up to 50 per cent.

"At some stage in the future, we want absolute gender equity in our organisation... and a female commissioner? That's got to happen soon."