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Police Papers Released

23 April 2001 Media Statement

Police Papers Released

The Minister of Police, George Hawkins, has today released a set of papers which demonstrate his commitment to ensuring sound management of the Police budget. The papers date from late 2000 when the Minister requested that the Police Commissioner, Rob Robinson, investigate ways of managing the Police budget to accommodate the annual Police wage round.

"The Police Commissioner and his team identified and prioritised a range of options. Those options were wide-ranging and provided a starting point as they worked to discover workable ways of managing the budget.

"The Commissioner's office identified areas where restraint could be exercised without compromising essential operational functions. Those areas included: accrual and reduction of time off in lieu; non-sworn overtime; staffing; use of consultants; international and domestic travel; training and fringe benefit tax for vehicles.

"The Commissioner advised me that these changes were manageable. In January he issued directives to District Commanders as to how the restraints would work.

"This Government is focussing on crime prevention and responding to crime, and that is good news for New Zealanders" said Mr Hawkins.

"The responsibility for managing Police budgets prudently rests with the Police Commissioner and District Commanders. I have made it clear to the Commissioner that this Government expects Police to operate efficiently. I am pleased that my positive relationship with the Commissioner allows healthy debate on such issues.

"It is important to ensure that the New Zealand Police use taxpayers' money in the most efficient way possible.

"I am proud of the progress this Government has already made with our tough law and order policies" said Mr Hawkins. "The National Party is having a tough time criticising this Government on Policing issues. We have poured over $100 million extra into Policing since coming to office. I have already had many opportunities to congratulate the Police on impressive crime statistics including the drop in crime and improvement in resolution rates for the year 2000.

"The National Party knows that under their management millions of dollars were squandered on the INCIS debacle, the vehicle fleet and maintenance of buildings were neglected and the vicious steps proposed by the Police Review were so unpalatable they had to be dropped. The only promise National made to Police before the election was to cut their funding by $24 million dollars. It is no surprise that New Zealanders opted for a Government that is committed to wise funding of crime prevention and responsiveness to crime.


"I am proud of the financial commitment this Government has made to Police, and I will continue to insist that Police use every dollar of taxpayers' money efficiently."


Ends.


Contact: Press Secretary Aimee Wilkins, ph 04 471 9795 or 021 270 9131

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