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Govt must act today on name suppression

Helen Clark must act today to get Cabinet's approval for an urgent law change to ensure the suppression of police officers' names after incidents such as Waitara, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"This decision cannot be left on the shoulders of the officer involved in the Waitara shooting. It is a matter for the Government.

"The only way to ensure this is for Helen Clark to move swiftly today. She must give an assurance that the Government will put urgent legislation through the House to protect the identity of police involved in shootings. The legislation would need to have safeguards if there were specific circumstances to warrant identification as a result of Police Complaints Authority findings.

"I have today written to the Prime Minister assuring her that National would support such legislation.

"As a matter of principle, we will support urgent legislation going through all stages tomorrow to ensure the suppression of the identify of a police officer while the Police Complaints Authority is completing an investigation into a police shooting.

"In the meantime, National appeals to the media not to release the name of the police officer involved in the Waitara shooting to protect both the officer and his family. Emotions are running high over the shooting and the last thing we need is people jumping to conclusions before all the facts are out," Mrs Shipley said.


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