On 10 October 1867 the Armed Constabulary Act was passed and the Waikato Militia disbanded.
Lieutenant-Colonel William Moule raised two divisions of Armed Constabulary and commanded one himself (No. 4 division) with Headquarters in Cambridge. The other (No. 5 division) was commanded by Major von Tempsky at Alexandra (Pirongia).
In 1869 -1870 the force was increased to 200 because of the presence of Te Kooti and in April 1870 Lieutenant-Colonel Lyon took command of the New Zealand Armed Constabulary which took over from the Auckland Provincial Police. Their first job was to repair the telegraph communications between Cambridge and Te Awamutu, and Cambridge and Hamilton.
The murder of Timothy Sullivan on 24 April 1873 brought renewed tension, and again during the Te Kooti scare, families were brought into the barracks at night. New redoubts were built at Pukekura, Paekuku, Roto-o-Rangi, and the ford across the Punui River, but these were withdrawn in 1875 and 1876.
The activities wound down and the Armed Constabulary's general duties were keeping communications open and making roads; the town constable keeping the peace, law and order; digging gardens, wheeling gravel, fencing paddocks, planting trees, and attending to guard duties. Approximately 22 men were stationed in Cambridge and from the 'office' in the corner of the lumber-room the town constable and watch house duties were administered.
By mid 1884 a full troop of N Z Constabulary Force was no longer required in Cambridge and all movable buildings and most of the personnel were transferred to Kihikihi. Constable William Brennan who had served in Cambridge since June 1876, carried on with policing duties.
By the middle of 1886 the whole Armed Constabulary force had been transferred to the regular police or to military forces, or had been discharged.
18 May 1886 a Police Force Bill and a Defence Bill were introduced to Parliament. Both were passed and the NZ Police Force came into being on 1 September 1886.
Researched and written by Eris Parker
Ref: National Archives Wellington
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