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Police inquiry will be $2.2m over budget

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

26 September 2006

Police inquiry will be $2.2m over budget

The fifth delay to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct will further undermine the public’s confidence in the police, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on an announcement by Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker that the inquiry, set up in February 2004 to look at police processes in dealing with complaints of sexual assault by police, was to be delayed again – to March 31 next year.

“This is getting a little crazy.

“This is the fifth delay after Helen Clark said it would report back in November 2004.

“This report is critical to restoring public confidence in the police after historic allegations, and the longer it is delayed, the longer the public’s confidence in the police will take to be restored.

“If it actually does manage to meet this latest deadline – and judging by the record so far that is anyone’s guess – it will be two years and four months late.

“And, at a monthly cost of $134,000, the final bill will be $4.83 million, compared to the original estimate of $2.68 million.”

Mr Power yesterday received an answer to a parliamentary question that revealed that the inquiry had cost $3.62 million to June 30.

“This is another example of this Government seeming to not care about how long inquiries take, and the effect that has, or their cost,” says Mr Power.

“Look at the Philip Field inquiry. That was scheduled to take nine days but took 9½ months and cost $480,000.”

ENDS

Parliamentary question 12808 (2006): Simon Power to the Minister of Internal Affairs (14 September): What is the estimated cost of the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct up to 30 September 2006?

Hon Rick Barker (Minister of Internal Affairs) replied: I am advised that the total actual costs to 30 June 2006 were $3.621M (GST exclusive).

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