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Views Sought On Police Employment Issues

Views Sought On Police Employment Issues

31 August 2006

A discussion document on Police employment arrangements has been released for public comment, as part of the government's ongoing review of the Police Act 1958.

"The document is the third in a series of papers aimed at teasing out and encouraging comment on some of the more fundamental issues of New Zealand policing," says Superintendent Hamish McCardle, the officer leading the review of the Police Act.

Issues Paper 3: Employment Arrangements explores a number of ideas and questions, including:

Building blocks

Current Police legislation often treats employment matters differently from other agencies, reflecting a rigid and out-of-date HR management model. Should new legislation bring the Police employment environment more into line with the rest of the State sector, and aim for a simpler and more flexible framework? If a more mainstream approach is taken, would it still be appropriate to apply specific standards in areas like fitness requirements, or the ability to undertake secondary employment?

The range of Police staff

At present, Police employees are divided into either sworn officers (who hold full constabulary powers) or non-sworn staff (who typically cannot exercise any police powers, even though they may be performing operational duties). In the future, should there be more staffing options available to the Commissioner of Police?

Entry points and overseas officers

Should it be possible under a new Act for officers to join the ranks in senior or more specialist roles, without first going through basic recruit training at the Police College (e.g. to allow for lateral entry of experienced overseas officers or technical experts)? How should a new Police Act deal with requests to have overseas police officers temporarily stationed in New Zealand (e.g., to help safeguard foreign nationals involved in events like the 2011 Rugby World Cup)?

The right to strike

It is unlawful for police officers to go on strike, but non-sworn staff can take industrial action. Should all Police staff have a right to strike under a new Act, subject to measures to protect public safety?

Copies of the full document can be downloaded from the 'Consultation' section of www.policeact.govt.nz Printed copies are available on request from the Police Act Review Team, c/- Police National Headquarters, PO Box 3017, Wellington.

Responses to Issues Paper 3 are sought by 16 October 2006. Responses can be made using an online form on the Police Act website; by fax to (04) 474 2342; or by post to the Police Act Review Team [at the address provided above].


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