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Issue No. 410 February 2017

New staff, new opportunities

Prime Minister Bill English meets Wellington staff, from left Constable Paul Tuala-Fata, Sergeant Phil Pithyou and Sergeant Loretta Hunt-Tevaga.

Police’s extra staff will be deployed into frontline and support roles to help meet the new and increasing demands of modern policing in New Zealand.

Prime Minister Bill English last week outlined the Government’s plan to add 1125 staff members - 880 constabulary and 245 non-constabulary - over the next four years at a cost of $503 million across the Justice Sector. Police Commissioner Mike Bush welcomed the news.

The staff will be deployed into priority geographical areas where demand is increasing, and work areas including frontline response and investigative capacity; organised crime, gangs and methamphetamine; child protection; family violence; in rural and ethnically diverse communities.

“As Police, we always want to do the best for our community and we continue to push ourselves to do more – something I am very much proud of,” says Commissioner Bush.

“The Police Executive are now working through how these extra 1125 staff will be allocated. We are focused on how we will allocate the new staff across the country and implement the new funding decisions.”

This will form part of a programme of work that includes Policing Excellence the Future, and will become our new single transformation programme.

“As can be appreciated, it will take some time to recruit and train these new staff over the next four years but I look forward to welcoming them as they start their careers in New Zealand Police,” says Commissioner Bush.

It is anticipated the first additional recruits will be in training by July, and in the workforce by November.

Police Minister Paula Bennett says the Government wants to see a more responsive police service which will prevent crime and victimisation, resolve more crimes and be able to more effectively target criminal gangs and organised crime.

“We are unashamedly targeting offenders to ensure they’re off our streets by providing additional resources for Police and greater investment in rehabilitation for prisoners,” says Minister Bennett.

“If we want to reduce offending we need to address the underlying drivers of dysfunction rather than just respond to the symptoms.”

An increased police presence will ensure 95 per cent of New Zealanders have on-duty police officers within 25km at all times.

“Knowing there’s a nearby police presence at all times is something the community expects,” says Minister Bennett.

“We’re making a commitment that people in cities, the regions and rural areas will have officers they can call on quickly. The public can be confident there will be a police officer nearby 24/7.”


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