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Auckland police not leaving in droves, Minister

1 December 2002 Media Statement

Auckland police not leaving in droves, says Minister

Auckland has some staffing issues, but the Government has strong measures in place to address them, Police Minister George Hawkins says.

Commenting on today’s retention rally by Auckland police, Mr Hawkins said the Government recognised policing was a skilled, demanding job requiring great personal commitment.

“The fact is, this Government has come to the party with levels of support the like of which police have never previously enjoyed under any other government. Nationally, police numbers are the best they’ve ever been and funding has never been higher.

“And at nearly $1b funding this financial year, police have never had as much money,” Mr Hawkins said.

Auckland had not missed out, with a number of initiatives specifically designed for policing New Zealand’s largest and fastest growing city in place. This included a second radio band.

Creating 60 more non-sworn positions to free up sworn officers for frontline duties, introducing a modern cadet recruitment scheme with graduates targeted for Auckland, and bringing in 60 to 80 experienced United Kingdom officers acknowledged Auckland had staffing issues that needed to be fixed.

“As well, the Commissioner recently brought in extra staff from around the country to help, and 79 additional officers will be on Auckland’s streets by Christmas after the next two wings graduate from the Porirua Police College,” Mr Hawkins said.

Auckland resignations and transfers numbered 772 in 2001/02, slightly down from the previous year, he said. National retention rates at 4.9 per cent and 4.6 per cent in Auckland would delight any employer. “When you look at the figures, there is movement of staff in Auckland, but often this involves transfers within the three Auckland police districts.

Mr Hawkins said at the end of the day it was the Government’s job to fund the police, “and the Commissioner’s job to decide where to allocate those funds.”


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