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Short on cops and short on cash

The Government is way behind on its commitment to adding 1800 new police over three years and the Police Minister needs at least another $216 million in Budget 2019 to even get close, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Stuart Nash has said he will count the new cops added by the Government from when the new Government took office, and has said he will take account of the number of cops leaving the force at the same time. Using his numbers, just 496 net new police have been added since 1 November 2017. The Government is miles away from meeting its coalition commitment before the next election.

“Winston Peters tried to laugh off the failure today in Question Time, and talked a lot about the number of new police being trained – but the facts are simple, just 496 net new police have been added since 1 November 2017.

“The Government is also facing huge fiscal pressure in funding Police. Advice to the Minister in 2018 was that $515.3 million was needed over four years to meet his target of 1800 new police in three years. Only $299 million was appropriated in Budget 2018, and Stuart Nash is on record saying he will need to go back to Finance Minister Grant Robertson to be ‘topped-up’ in future years.

“Mr Nash is going to need a lot of topping up - $216 million to be precise. Winston Peters couldn’t commit to that figure today in Question Time, throwing the Government’s commitment to this flagship target into question.”

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