Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Goff To Review Police Complaints Authority

Justice Minister Phil Goff announced today a review of the Police Complaints Authority's structure and the manner in which it conducts its operations.

"The Authority has been in existence now for 12 years. It's time to take stock, to see where it's working well and where improvements can be made," Mr Goff said.

"There's no doubt the PCA has done much during the last 12 years to promote public confidence in police accountability. Currently it investigates approximately 2000 complaints a year and sustains about 15% of cases. It hasn't hesitated to criticise police action on numerous occasions where such criticism has been warranted.

"Following the Waitara shooting, however, some commentators made quite extraordinary allegations about the conduct of previous Police Complaints Authority investigations. I wrote to these people requesting urgently that they substantiate allegations. I have so far received one reply in which the individual accepts that he can offer no concrete example far less evidence of cover-ups.

"In order to maintain a high level of public confidence in the PCA's independence and credibility, the Government has decided that now would be a good time to re-examine publicly the advantages and disadvantages of PCA structure.

"Two key questions we will be asking are:

'Should the Authority have an independent investigative capacity for serious complaints and incidents', and

'To what degree should the function of the Authority be carried out in private and in secrecy'?

"In holding a review, I want to make it clear that this is not an expression of any dissatisfaction whatsoever with the Authority’s track record. Neither should this process in any way be seen as having a bearing on the conduct of the Waitara investigation or the validity of its eventual outcome", Mr Goff concluded.

Hon Justice Sir Rodney Gallen, retired judge of the High Court, will conduct the review and report to the Minister of Justice by 31 October 2000.

[Terms of reference attached.]

ENDS


POLICE COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY REVIEW TERMS OF REFERENCE

Purpose
To review the role of the Police Complaints Authority in investigating and resolving complaints and incidents concerning the Police. The review will not re-examine any particular case investigated by the Authority.

Terms of Reference
To review the performance of the Police Complaints Authority in the twelve years since the passage of the Police Complaints Authority Act 1988 (the Act), and to report to the Minister of Justice (Hon Phil Goff) by 31 October 2000, having particular regard to:

(a) The Authority’s strengths and achievements
(b) Any weaknesses that may exist in the Authority’s structure, legislative mandate or performance
(c) The relationship of the Authority to Ministers, the Police, and the three branches of government generally
(d) Whether any improvements could be made, and if so, what.

In the course of making this assessment and making his recommendations the reviewer will be required to examine and report on the following questions:

(a) Has the Authority achieved its statutory objectives (with particular reference to section 12 of the Act)?
(b) How do the statutory objectives stand up in light of experience?
(c) How is the division of responsibilities for investigating matters allocated between the Commissioner of Police and the Authority?
(d) How efficient has the Authority been in using its resources?
(e) How effective has the Authority been in dealing with complaints which arise from or are related to police policies, procedures or general practices?
(f) How effective has the system of using Police to conduct investigations been? This should include consideration of the police investigators’ ability to access information and familiarity with police structure and practice.
(g) What safeguards against possible bias are built into the investigation process and how effectively have they operated?
(h) Should the Authority have an independent investigative capacity for serious complaints and incidents, and how might that operate, including consideration of potential financial implications?
(i) To what degree should the function of the Authority be carried out in private and in secrecy, and what degree of transparency is advisable in the Authority’s operations?
(j) Should the Authority have the power to initiate a prosecution of a police officer?
(k) What skills, experience, and qualifications would be desirable in the officers and employees of the Authority?
(l) Whether any amendments should be proposed to the role of the Authority?
(m) What improvements, if any, could be made to the structure, processes and position of the Authority within the three branches of the New Zealand Government?
(n) How accessible has the Authority been to the public in reality, and how accessible is it perceived to be by the public?


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Legal Issues: Gordon Campbell On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

Yesterday’s interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public.

Apoparently, the fuel industry is an oligopoly where the Big Three (BP, Mobil and Z) that import 90% of this country’s fuel also control the supply, pricing, profit margins etc etc, from wharf to petrol pump, thereby all but throttling genuine competition at every stage along the way. More>>

 

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

Welfare: Ongoing Drug-Test Sanctions Contradicts Govt’s Rhetoric

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels