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Hawkins did his Best for Police

Media Release

For Immediate Release
4 October 2005


Hawkins did his Best for Police

"The out-going Police Minister battled hard for police," Association President Greg O'Connor said today.

"The Hon George Hawkins inherited a portfolio which had been run down considerably during the 1990's and required considerable capital input, especially in vehicles and police stations," said Mr O'Connor.

"During his time as Minister, the police station building programme accelerated and he was affectionately known as 'George the Builder' in Police Association circles," said Mr O'Connor. "He also was able to persuade Cabinet to increase police numbers, albeit in specialist fields such as highway patrol, intelligence and youth services."

"As a result of his time as Minister, the infrastructure of police, particularly the vehicle fleet plus support and specialist areas are far better resourced than they were when he first became Minister."

Mr O'Connor said, "Unfortunately the nature of the directed funding and the compliance regime around has meant that the frontline response area has yet to be addressed and that will be a critical job for the next Minister."

Overall, the Association believes history will show that Mr Hawkins played a significant part in rebuilding police capacity and that once the frontline shortages are addressed police will be a better organisation for his Ministership."

Regarding the next Minister of Police, Mr O'Connor said, "The Association believes the appointment of a high ranking Cabinet Minister to the position will be a signal from Government that they see a strategy of establishing New Zealand as the safest place in the world to visit, live and do business in, as an essential part of safeguarding New Zealand's future"

ENDS

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