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Minister’s and Commissioner’s credibility is shot

Hon Tony Ryall MP
National Party Police Spokesman

18 May 2005

Minister’s and Commissioner’s credibility is shot

“The credibility of the Police Minister and his Commissioner is in tatters. It is now only a matter of time before both will go,” says National Party Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

“Frontline staff have lost faith in George Hawkins and Rob Robinson. There is a maelstrom brewing in police stations around the country that will, in the end, engulf them both.

“Police officers are openly speaking about the leadership vacuum at the top of policing. This shattered morale will affect the service the public receives.

“Mr Hawkins is clinging desperately to the title he pursued for years, to the detriment of his party and the New Zealand Police. He is a dead duck, filling a seat until the day of the election.

“Mr Hawkins has shown himself to be completely unworthy of his post. He is an embarrassment to his colleagues. If he had one ounce of integrity, he would have resigned months ago.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner is in denial of the stinging criticism of the 111 report. Yesterday the Minister told Parliament the Commissioner agrees with the report’s conclusions. Yet on the day of the report’s release, Mr Robinson said the 111 system was adequate, no risk to public safety, and is world class.

“Mr Robinson’s view is a direct contradiction of what the 111 report actually says.

“It seems there will be no accountability for allowing the emergency system to put the safety of our communities at risk.

“I am gravely concerned about the damage being done to the police by the Prime Minister’s indifference to this crisis of confidence. Both Mr Hawkins and Mr Robinson would have been fired if the Prime Minister hadn’t knifed the last Commissioner.

“I know what needs to be done to restore confidence in the police. A fresh start is needed. In the next few weeks, we will outline our plans to restore confidence and pride in the New Zealand Police,” says Mr Ryall.


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