Police Minister Anne Tolley says the next Police Commissioner will be the best applicant, in response to a call for a woman to be appointed to the job.
At a rally against sexual violence in Auckland on Saturday, lawyer Catriona McLennan said the police were failing to keep women safe.
She called for Mrs Tolley to appoint a female commissioner when the term of incumbent Commissioner Peter Marshall ends in March next year.
But a spokesperson for the minister said the position will go to the very best applicant.
The spokesperson refused to say whether Mrs Tolley would exercise positive discrimination if two equally good candidates applied and one of them was a woman.