Government Dumps Long-Serving Police
“The government is acting with callous disregard of some of its longest-serving police officers by pushing through legislation which seriously impacts upon their human rights in relation to age discrimination,” said New Zealand First MP Brian Donnelly.
Under the Police Act, sworn officers have to retire at the age of 55. The Human Rights Act outlaws discrimination on the basis of age. All legislation with age discrimination was supposed to have been amended by the end of this year.
Police officers have justifiably expected that the Police Act would have been amended. The government has had more than six year to do so.
Now the government is pushing out for two more years the requirements of its own legislation. Many experienced policemen are going to be trapped by the governments ineptitude.
High quality police officers are being forced to leave the service – not because they can no longer carry out their duties, but because they have turned 55 years of age.
All it would have taken to keep their experience was a single amendment to the Police Act. I have discussed the matter with New Zealand First’s police spokesperson, Peter Brown, and he assured me he will immediately rectify this situation after the election.