Parliament

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

 

Govt Decision Enhances Independence Of PCA


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
Media Statement

11 April 2001

GOVT DECISION ENHANCES INDEPENDENCE OF POLICE COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY


Justice Minister Phil Goff has announced Government decisions designed to enhance the independence of the Police Complaints Authority.

The announcement follows the release today of the Review of the Police Complaints Authority by retired High Court judge Sir Rodney Gallen which Mr Goff commissioned last year.

"The major decision arising out of the Review is to provide the Authority with an enhanced investigative capacity of its own, independent of the Police.

"This will allow the most serious complaints against the Police to be investigated directly by the staff of the Authority itself, rather than the Authority reviewing Police investigations of their own members.

"This decision does not reflect dissatisfaction with the Authority's track record. During its 12 years in existence the PCA has done much to promote public confidence in police accountability.

"A study of complaints dealt with by the Authority shows that overwhelmingly investigations by the Police have been thorough and fair and supervision by the Authority effective.

"However, when serious complaints are made against the Police there is a problem of perception that the Police are seen to be investigating themselves, which raises doubt about impartiality of the findings.

"There is a strong public view that police investigation of complaints against themselves is neither independent or appropriate. It is critical that there is full public confidence that such investigations are independent.



"The Authority has the power independently to investigate serious complaints but lacks the resources to carry out investigations.

"Consequently the Authority will be resourced to enable its independent investigation of serious complaints.

"The obvious starting point will be section 13 of the PCA Act which relates to cases of death or serious bodily harm which appear to have been caused by the Police.

"The range of cases dealt with directly by the Authority will expand as it develops sufficient in-house investigative expertise.

"It is envisaged that the number of independent investigators needed would be around 6 with an estimated budgetary cost of around $1 million.

"There will be a name change to the 'Independent Police Complaints Authority' to recognise this new capacity.

"The Authority will also increase in membership from one to three. The Chair will be a current or former judge and will be supported by two other members. In line with current State Services Commission guidelines the appointment process will take into consideration 'the need for a balance of gender, ethnicity and community representation, while appointing on the merit principle.' This is preferred to Sir Rodney's more prescriptive recommendation.

"The Authority will remain a Justice Crown Entity rather than becoming an Officer of Parliament. The Authority is chaired by a Judge. It is funded via Vote Justice and is independent of the agency it is monitoring. It is appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives.

"There has never been any suggestion of Executive interference in the performance of its duties and therefore no change to the status quo is considered necessary," Mr Goff said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>

 
 

89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>

ALSO:

Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels