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Deterring Police From Being On Local Authorities

Media Release

For Immediate Release
11 June 2008

Move To Deter Police Officers From Being On Local Authorities Is Appalling

"Police officers are appalled by the move to effectively ban them becoming elected representatives on their local authority," said President of the New Zealand Police Association, Greg O'Connor.

In the recent report back to parliament on the Policing Bill, police constables, authorised officers and supervisors who stand as a elected member of a local authority must take a leave of absence, or decide not to stand.

"If they are successful, police officers will then be forced to choose between serving on the local authority or their police career."

"Many police officers have a great insight and commitment to their community, which can greatly benefit local councils. At a time when Police need to connect with the public and build positive relationships, this move simply forces Police to isolate themselves from either taking a positive role in their local community or their police duties," said Mr O'Connor.

"No other public servants are so constrained."

"When someone decides to become a candidate for their local authority, they do so out of a sense of civic duty and commitment to improving their community. To insist that they also effectively stop working as a police officer, creates a considerable deterrent on that police officer."

"Any issues over conflict of interest, can be addressed by both Police and Council Codes of Conduct."


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