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Helen Clark pre-judging the police issue


Wayne Mapp Opposition
Associate Justice Spokesperson
Tuesday 23 May 2000

Helen Clark pre-judging the police issue

Helen Clark is once again wading into police operational matters with her comments on the handling of anti-Chinese protestors, particularly in regard to the Christchurch State dinner, National MP Wayne Mapp said today.

"What is more, she is pre-empting the select committee that is looking into precisely this issue," Dr Mapp said. He is a member of the committee.

"We're accustomed to seeing Ms Clark commenting on anything and everything, but doesn't she realise her constitutional obligations?

"In this case she doesn't just want to be Minister of Police. She appears to also want to be Commissioner of Police.

"It's fundamental that police must act without political intervention. That means the Prime Minister should not be commenting on their decisions.

"Just as she did with her comments over the Waitara shooting, she is pre-judging the issue without waiting for the facts. She should wait for the report of the select committee.

"Police have made it perfectly clear in the case of the Jiang protests that decisions were made by the operational commander on the spot.

"It is their duty to make these decisions. The Prime Minister must recognise this fundamental segregation of powers.

"It is astonishing that Ms Clark is so keen on undermining respect for the police that she will not even wait for the select committee to report," Dr Mapp said.

Ends

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