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


Marc My Words

Marc My Words.

By Marc Alexander MP. United Future NZ.

Law and dis-order

The sense of safety and security that New Zealanders have come to expect has come under much pressure of late. While the country has been battered and bruised with wind and rain, so too has confidence in the police. Allegations of pack rape, corruption and cover-ups by Police have struck a blow to the thin blue line - swamping the highly regarded Assistant Commissioner Clint Rickards and two former policemen, Bob Schollum and Brad Shipton - with an added finger pointing at Detective Inspector John Dewar for allegedly blocking the original complaint.

The Prime Minister has quite rightly ordered an independent Commission to be headed by a High Court Judge with the same powers as a Court. There are however, a number of concerns; these issues have again raised a crisis of confidence not only of the public but the Police members themselves; it has raised issues of the impartiality of Police investigating one of its own, especially in cases involving allegations of sexual assault; and most importantly, how will the fallout from the allegations and the inquiry process hamper ongoing Police operations?

Perhaps most disturbing - and a question about this has yet to be raised - is the role of Police Minister George Hawkins. How is it that nothing impeded Rickards' promotion to Assistant Commissioner while there was the hint of an unresolved allegation? Was it that Hawkins was not told (in which case the confidence he places in his advisers is misplaced - and they should be dealt with); was it that Hawkins was advised but did nothing (in which case his competence comes into question); or was Hawkins given advice but chose to disregard it (in which case we should be given the reasons).

The other possibility of course, is that the Police withheld information from the Minister and his advisers - in which case the Police/Minister relationship demands investigation. Just what was the accountability process between Police and Minister, why was it that the Prime Minister blocked Rickards' promotion to Deputy Commissioner three years ago? It begs the larger question; what did she know then that Hawkins didn't, and why wasn't the inquiry started back then rather than when the complainant Louise Nicholas came forward years later?

All this comes about at a time when barely eight weeks into the New Year, New Zealand has seen 16 murders. The Police are under-funded, under-manned and now their confidence is under-mined. But before we leap to conclusions, we should be mindful of a likely torrent of stories fuelled by the media. While some will no doubt be worthy of investigation others will be vengeful gossip given traction by reporters looking for their big story.

It is tempting to leap to judgement but for the sake of the men in blue who serve to protect us, often putting life and limb at risk, we need to be patient, allow the inquiry to run its course, and above all, we need to be fair.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election