Review of Police Administration and Management StructuresJack Elder Police
Review of Police Administration
& Management Structures
Preliminary Draft Report
9 JUNE 1998
- The New Zealand Police is a very significant contributor to the Government's objective of improving public safety. As such, the Government is vitally concerned that the New Zealand Police has management and administrative structures that support, rather than inhibit, the delivery of quality policing services.
- The resources involved in the New Zealand Police are substantial. Operating expenditure for 1998/99 is $740 million, with a total staffing of 8,934. Fixed assets, principally property, are valued at $481 million.
- The review of the management and administrative structure of the New Zealand Police has identified potential savings of $50.5 million in direct personnel costs. These savings, which do not affect frontline Police, primarily arise from:
- a proposed new and flatter organisational structure, characterised by:
- a Commissioner's Office, which is focussed on the Governments strategic objectives, and which is concerned with securing performance in the delivery of policing services in support of these objectives;
- eleven Districts, each headed by a District "Manager", whose focus is the delivery of quality policing services. The District "Managers" are empowered to make decisions on the delivery of policing services in their Districts, within an allocated budget. The accountability of the District "Manager" is reinforced by a direct reporting relationship to the Commissioner. The Commissioner, together with the District "Managers" and other senior staff, constitute the Operating Committee of the New Zealand Police;
- the establishment of Service Centres which deliver, on a centralised basis certain support services required by the Districts; and
- the proposed outsourcing of non-core support services
- a proposed new and flatter organisational structure, characterised by:
- The proposed new organisational structure requires significantly fewer
management and administrative staff than the current one. Some 445 positions are
considered to be no longer required, of whom 115 are sworn staff currently
performing management or administrative tasks, and 330 non-sworn. The staffing
reductions arise from a smaller, strategically focussed Commissioner's Office
(115), the elimination of regions (75), and a leaner and consolidated District
management and support structure (255).
- The proposed outsourcing of non-core support services will have further
staffing implications, which will occur progressively over two years.
- The review has also considered the governance of the New Zealand Police, and
in particular, ways of enhancing the accountability of the Commissioner of
Police without compromising the Commissioner's constitutional independence on
law enforcement. The Commissioner's accountability is diluted somewhat by
uncertainties over the boundary between Government policy, which the
Commissioner must follow, and Police operations. The favoured approach is to
strengthen and extend the accountability framework contained in the Police Act
and the State Sector Act, notably by:
- making the workings of the boundary between Government policy and Police operations more transparent by allowing the Minister of Police to give written directions to the Commissioner which would be tabled in the House of Representatives, etc;
- amending of the Police Act to clearly set out its purpose, to define the role of the Police, and to more clearly specify the responsibilities of the Commissioner;
- bringing the Police Act into line with those provisions in the State Sector Act which would enhance accountability including:
- clarification of the appointment process for the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners including issues of tenure and removal;
- empowering the State Services Commissioner to review and report on the performance of the Commissioner of Police;
- requiring the Commissioner of Police to report each year to the Minister on the financial performance of the Police; and
- requiring the Commissioner to furnish a report on the operational components of New Zealand Police activities, and on issues which are subject to Ministerial direction.
- A Ministerially appointed Advisory Board is also suggested for the purpose
of scrutinising the New Zealand Police's corporate intentions, including
proposed capital investments and divestments, and monitoring the adequacy of the
business practices adopted by the New Zealand Police. The Advisory Board's views
would be feed into the State Services Commissioners review of the Police
- In summary, the changes proposed are designed to make the New Zealand Police
more efficient, and more accountable for the delivery of quality Policing
services in support of the Governments public safety objectives. Decisions on
the uses to be made of the resources released from the proposed changes are, of
course, for the Government to make.
- The conclusions reached in the review, and the changes proposed, are
tentative only, and have been released for consultation with staff, staffing
representatives, and other stakeholders. The consultation process is set out at
the end of the report.
The review team acknowledges:
- the unequivocal cooperation of the Commissioner and senior staff in the review;
- the high quality of the staff made available by the Commissioner to assist in the review, and indeed the quality of the staff generally; and
- that, while the report, of its nature, is critical in some respects, many of
the issues identified were already the subject of analysis by the New Zealand
Police, particularly in regard to organisational structure. The quality of the
internal work greatly assisted the review.
The Review Team
The team consisted of:
Doug Martin, partner, Martin, Jenkins & Associates, reviewer Sir
Geoffrey Palmer, partner, Chen & Palmer (constitutional issues) Mr Jack
Jenkins, company director (business related issues) Mr David Preston, property
consultant, Ernst & Young (property management)
- Terms Of Reference
- On 6 April 1998 the Minister of Police, the Hon Jack Elder, announced a review of the administrative and Management Structures of the New Zealand Police. The key objectives of the review were to:
- optimise the New Zealand Police's contribution to the Governments public
safety objectives; and
- ensure the most cost effective administrative and management structures for
the New Zealand Police in achieving the Government's public safety (including
statutory obligations), without compromising front line capability.
- optimise the New Zealand Police's contribution to the Governments public
- How the Review was Conducted
- The structure of this preliminary draft report broadly reflects how the review was conducted. The first stage was to further develop the issues arising from these Terms of Reference, and this is summarised in section B. Section C outlines relevant background, and section D the legislative framework. The next stage was to analyse the issues under the headings of:
- -Organisational Structure
- -Property Management
Potential savings are then summarised.
- Each component of the review has been conducted in the context of the other components and of the overall review. In this, the review has been guided by Waterman's model,1 commonly referred to as "McKinsey's 7-S Framework" - that the success and effectiveness of organisational change depends on the relationship between structure, strategy, systems, style, skills, staff and "superordinate goals" (values).
- Consultation on this Report
- This preliminary draft report includes tentative conclusions about
improvements in governance and management structures, and about administration.
The review team welcomes comment on both the scope and nature of the issues
which have been analysed, and on the tentative proposals for change:
- The process and timeframe for receiving comment is set out in the final
section. The results of this consultation process, including any modifications
to the proposals, will be incorporated in the final report to the Government.
- The first stage of the review consisted of identifying the issues for
analysis. These arose from a series of discussions between members of the review
team, the steering group of the New Zealand Police, and Treasury officials, and
through an analysis of previous reviews of the New Zealand Police. The key
issues which emerged were:
- the uncertainties over the boundary between decisions made by the New
Zealand Police that must be exercised on an independent basis free from
Ministerial direction, and Government policy which the New Zealand Police must
follow. This is the over arching issue;
- the fact that the Police Act 1958 does not fully reflect the changes that
have occurred in the State sector since 1988;
- the lack of clarity in the accountability of the New Zealand Police and the
Commissioner, reflecting the first point above; and
- the unsatisfactory definition of the Commissioner's accountability to the
Minister contained in the Police Regulations 1992.
- the uncertainties over the boundary between decisions made by the New
- Organisational Structure
- the mix of centralised (ie Headquarters) and decentralised decision making
(ie regions and districts) with the consequent difficulty in properly assigning
accountability for service delivery;
- the devolution of some aspects of management authority in resource
allocation to regions and districts without robust performance measures and
- confusion amongst client groups over who has decision making authority in
respect of a particular issue;
- the excessive number of layers of management; and
- a management/staff ratio which is high (1:3.7) compared with 1:6 in
Australia and 1:7 in Britain.
- the mix of centralised (ie Headquarters) and decentralised decision making
- the delivery by the New Zealand Police of support services which are either
not central to core policing, or which do not require sworn Police officers (or
employees of the New Zealand Police) to deliver them; and
- issues around capturing economies of scale, quality, and mitigation of risk.
- the delivery by the New Zealand Police of support services which are either
- the lack of a regular (eg annual) tendering process for the purchase of
major supplies/services; and
- ability to leverage off purchasing power as a large organisation not
- the lack of a regular (eg annual) tendering process for the purchase of
- Property Management
- the lack of a comprehensive strategic plan for property, which means that it
is not possible to identify (with minor exceptions) obvious potential for
- the decentralised and uncoordinated approach to property management.
- the lack of a comprehensive strategic plan for property, which means that it
- Structures and Resources
- The New Zealand Police is a large organisation by any standards. As at 8 May 1998, the Police employed 8,933.94 staff, of whom 6,882.84 were sworn staff, excluding recruits, and 2,051.1 non-sworn. Total expenditure, including depreciation and capital charge, amounts to $740 million for 1998/99. The book value of the fixed assets owned by the New Zealand Police as at 30 June1997 was $481 million.
- Currently the New Zealand Police is organised into four regions and sixteen
districts, and is administered from Police National Headquarters in Wellington.
The Royal New Zealand Police College is situated at Porirua.
(Including 195 recruits)
- Each region is managed by a Region Commander, who is an Assistant
Commissioner of Police. Districts are managed by District Managers who hold the
rank of Superintendent of Police.
- Government Strategic Results Areas for Police
- The New Zealand Police contribute to a number of outcomes desired by
Government, which are given emphasis and direction through Strategic Result
Areas 1, 6 & 8. The main Strategic Result Area for Police is SRA 6: Safer
Communities which seeks:
Enhanced community safety for individuals, families and communities through
inter-agency development of policies and delivery strategies for responding to
crime, including crime prevention, management of offenders, and support for
- focus on addressing the underlying causes of criminal offending;
an emphasis on prevention and early intervention;
- encourage proactive
multi-agency partnership between Government agencies and community
- respect people's rights;
- lead to a reduction in crime.
- This SRA has a number of sub-ordinate SRA's to which agencies in the
Criminal Justice Sector (including Police) must respond. Police primarily
contribute to SRA 6 (v) which requires the:
Implementation of an effective community orientated policing system that
- strengthens community capability and utilises community problem solving
- emphasises balanced prevention and enforcement approaches;
targets a reduction in the incidence of violent crime (particularly family
violence), gang organised criminal activity, road trauma, street disorder,
alcohol related offending and house burglary.
- Secondary contributions are also made to the following subordinate SRA's:
|SRA 6 (i)||Increasing the personal safety of children and young people and women, and breaking inter-generational cycles of offending and victimisation.|
|SRA 6 (ii)||Decreasing the incidence of youth offending.|
|SRA 6 (iii)||Fostering positive participation by Maori and Pacific peoples in the criminal justice system, and reducing the impact of crime of Maori and Pacific peoples in terms of offending and victimisation.|
|Support for, and partnership with community organisations that provides crime prevention services and social support to individual, groups and communities at risk of criminal offending or victimisation.|
|SRA 6 (vi)||Developing and implementing an effective sentence management and correction services designed to reduce the likelihood of reoffending.|
|SRA 6 (vii)||Modernising court administration and enhancing the effectiveness of the court system for users and victims.|
- Flowing from the Government SRAs, the New Zealand Police have developed the following set of Key Result Areas ("KRAs") which are designed to operationalise the strategic direction into policing activities and functions.
|KRA 1||Ensuring that resources are targeted towards reducing the incidence and effects of crime by focussing on significant risk issues as youth at risk, gangs and organised crime, family violence, house burglary and motor vehicle crime, street violence and disorder, and alcohol as an aggravator.|
|KRA 2||Ensuring that an efficient, effective and responsive Community Orientated Policing service is delivered which builds police, community and inter-agency partnerships.|
|KRA 3||Ensuring that
policing services are delivered within a quality customer service framework that
recognises the particular needs of individual and communities.
|KRA 4||Reducing the
incidence of road crashes through the use of enhanced road safety programmes,
better management of resources and greater inter-agency co-operation.
|KRA 5||Developing and
implementing the first stage of the "Policing 2000" Business Strategy for Change
which is directed at "managing demand - developing better capability for
|KRA 6||Ensuring that
sufficient resources are targeted towards all staff gaining a greater
understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi, develop mechanisms to bring the voice
of Maori into decision making, and operational procedures and implement
strategies to reduce the incidence and effects of offending by Maori.
- The Police Strategic Plan
- The strategic plan is the linkage between the Government's higher order
strategic direction and the operational face of policing.
- In 1992, in response to rising crime trends, the New Zealand Police
developed its first strategic plan to define what it was trying to achieve and
how it would reach those goals. Police adopted the overall vision of "Safer
Communities Together" for policing in New Zealand using Community Orientated
Policing, (COP) an internationally recognised operating strategy for reducing
crime and creating safer communities. It emphasises community-based problem
solving and a balanced crime prevention and enforcement capability targeted at
reducing both the incidence and effects of crime.
- The New Zealand Police strategic approach is based on the themes of
community safety, strategic and tactical partnership and a combination of crime
prevention, problem solving and law enforcement. The results New Zealand Police
aim to achieve over the next five years are:
- reduced crime
- reduced fear of crime
- reduced road trauma
- reduced disorder
- reduced impacts of emergencies and disasters
- increased trust and confidence in police
- increased community capability for self protection
- better partnerships with the community and other agencies
- better management of police people and resources
- New Zealand Police operations are based around six key strategies
- law enforcement and investigation
- policing in partnership with the community and other agencies
- focus on problem solving
- increased focus on crime prevention
- better management of resources and people
- targeting collective resources where they will have best effect
- Examples of projects within the first four strategies are:
- family violence
- youth at risk
- organised crime
- street violence and disorder
- house burglary
- motor vehicle crime
- repeat offenders
- alcohol related offending
- families at risk
- Maori victimisation and offending
- In 1994, New Zealand Police commenced to address the remaining two
strategies; management and resource issues, within a transformation change
programme known as Policing 2000. In essence the programme aims to enable the
New Zealand Police to increase the proportion of resources applied to proactive
policing by improving the way in which resources are deployed and used in the
reactive areas of policing.
- District Plans and Purchase Agreement
- The Purchase Agreement signed by the Minister and Commissioner of Police is
the formal document which specifies the amount and quality of services that the
New Zealand Police will provide and Government will purchase under 12 output
class categories. These details are largely replicated in the annual
Departmental Forecast Report which is presented to Parliament prior to the
commencement of financial year.
- Internally the requirements in the Commissioner's Purchase Agreement are
allocated to Regions and Districts and included in District Plans. Resources to
achieve the service delivery are allocated and a District Planning template is
used to record District performance. Each District "Manager" and Region
Commander have these requirements linked into their individual performance
contracts. At the completion of the year the results are aggregated and included
in the Report of the New Zealand Police which is formally presented to
- Relationship with other Public Sector Agencies
- From time to time, it has been suggested that the New Zealand Police be
broken into policy and operational arms (eg. a Ministry of Police, and a
"delivery" Police Force). This, in effect, treats Police as a "sector", and
ignores the wider justice sector that the New Zealand Police operate within.
- The justice sector consists of a number of agencies that establish a context
for the New Zealand Police, and this context needs to be borne in mind in
considering change. These agencies include the:
- Ministry of Justice;
- Crime Prevention Unit of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet;
- Department of Courts; and
- Department of Corrections.
- The New Zealand Police also operate in the context of the transport sector,
including with the:
- Ministry of Transport; and
- Land Transport Safety Authority.
- These agencies reflect only the close linkages - there are clearly a wide
network of other linkages, including, for example:
- youth - Ministry of Youth Affairs; Children and Young Persons Service of the
Department of Social Welfare; and
- accident prevention - transport agencies above; ACC.
- youth - Ministry of Youth Affairs; Children and Young Persons Service of the
- The New Zealand Police is governed by a number of legislative provisions
contained within the Police Act 1958, the State Sector Act 1988, the Police
Complaints Authority Act 1998, and the Public Finance Act 1989. These provisions
govern the role of the Commissioner of Police, Police accountability, and the
operational authority of the New Zealand Police. There are also important common
law principles and constitutional understandings governing the exercise of
Police discretion. The most important statute is clearly the Police Act.
- Role of the Commissioner
- Under section 3(1) of the Police Act, the Governor-General appoints a
Commissioner of Police whose main function is "general control of the Police".
The Commissioner is also the administrative head of the New Zealand Police. The
Commissioner remains in office during the pleasure of the Governor-General
(Police Act, section 3(2)).
- The Commissioner has a substantial degree of independence as the result of
judicial decision and constitutional conventions that operate in this area. The
Commissioner does not exercise powers delegated from the Minister, rather, he or
she maintains constitutional separation and independence. The Commissioner is
recognised as occupying a distinct constitutional position in the State sector
(section 44 of the State Sector Act). Independence is also an inherent
characteristic of the office of Constable. The Commissioner is, in this context,
the Chief Constable.
- One or more Deputy Commissioners are also appointed by the Governor General
(Police Act, section 4). In general, each Deputy exercises such powers or
functions of the Commissioner of Police as the Commissioner delegates (section
4(3)). Each Deputy's delegated power is revocable at will (section 4(4)-(6)).
- The New Zealand Police receive appropriations from Parliament in accordance
with the provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989. The Minister of Police and
the Minister of Transport purchase a range of services provided by the New
Zealand Police. The mechanism for achieving this is the Purchase Agreement.
Purchase agreements between Ministers and departments specify individual outputs
in terms and conditions similar to private sector contracts. In the case of the
Agreement between the Minister of Police and the Commissioner of Police, the
Minister's right to impose binding requirements in respect of matters of
administration is subject to the limitation that these shall not directly affect
the Commissioner's duty to enforce the law. In this respect, the constitutional
independence of the New Zealand Police is preserved in areas where that is
- Police Accountability
- While the constitutional independence of the Commissioner in matters of
operational law enforcement has long been recognised, its boundaries have not
been defined, resulting in a lack of clarity in accountability. The
Commissioner's accountability to the Minister is not dealt with in the Act, but
in somewhat unsatisfactory terms in the Police Regulations 1992.
- The Police Act does contain a number of audit, scrutiny and performance
reporting mechanisms that apply to the Police. Section 56 affords the Minister
of Police authority to implement an inquiry into New Zealand Police activities
headed by a Judge. Section 65 requires the Commissioner of Police to report
annually (at the end of each financial year) through the Minister of Police to
Parliament on Police operations, specifically those involving use of any special
Police powers (for example, use of listening devices).
- Some State sector practices are also relevant to New Zealand Police
accountability. Objectives against which New Zealand Police performance can be
measured are contained within the set of KRAs, developed by the New Zealand
Police in consultation with the Minister. The development of KRAs takes place
within the wider public sector, within a performance agreement framework
coordinated and administered by the State Services Commission under the
framework of the State Sector Act. The New Zealand Police have developed this
method of reporting to the Minister of Police through a Memorandum of
Understanding. Memoranda are monitored by the State Services Commission which
also provide feedback to the Commissioner upon performance.
- The Police Complaints Authority Act 1988 also governs New Zealand Police
performance. Under the Act, an independent review of Police operations,
practices and procedures can take place. Section 29 provides the capability for
the Police Complaints Authority to report on any unactioned recommendations to
the Attorney General who can table a report before Parliament.
- A system of financial accountability applies to the New Zealand Police under
the Public Finance Act 1989. The Commissioner of Police is responsible to the
Minister of Police for the financial management and performance in terms of
Regulation 3 of the Police Regulations 1992.
- In a similar fashion to core Government departments, the Public Finance Act
requires the New Zealand Police to make an annual financial report (section 39),
comply with Treasury instructions (section 80), meet Treasury requests for
financial information (section 79), and forward a copy of the financial
statement to the Audit Office (section 35(5)). The financial statement and the
Commissioner's financial management of performance is subject to annual Audit
Office opinion (section 38). The New Zealand Police must undertake all reporting
functions as defined under section 33, including production of Forecast Reports,
Annual Reports and other reports as set out within Treasury requirements.
- Operational Authority of the Police
- There is no statutory basis for the prosecution functions that are carried
out by the New Zealand Police. The powers of the New Zealand Police to prosecute
arise indirectly because Parliament creates many statutory offences and it is
the responsibility of the New Zealand Police to investigate alleged breaches of
these offences. In this regard, the powers of arrest and seizure are conferred
on the New Zealand Police to enable them to undertake their investigatory role
and charge persons with particular offences where there is sufficient evidence.
- However, in carrying out their prosecution functions, the New Zealand Police are required to follow the Police General Instructions that are issued under section 30 of the Police Act. The Commissioner of Police can issue General Instructions, and all members of the New Zealand Police must obey them (Police Act, section 30). These Instructions must be notified either by publication in the Police Gazette or a Manual of General Instructions issued by the Commissioner, or by bringing them to the personal notice of a member (section 30(3)). The Instructions set out the role for prosecutors and are currently being superseded by the Manual of Best Practice, which incorporates the Prosecution Guidelines issued by the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General.
- The State Sector Act also has some relevance to the operational authority of
the New Zealand Police. The State Sector Act deals with key matters relating to
the State Services Commissioner, the administration of the State Services
Commission and of "Departments" and the "Public Service". The New Zealand Police
has never been part of the Public Service, though as an instrument of the Crown,
it is part of the State sector. Accordingly, some parts of the State Sector Act
apply to the New Zealand Police, but others do not.
- For example, as an employer, section 7 of the Police Act requires the Commissioner of Police to apply the personnel policy and EEO policy contained respectively in sections 56 and 58 of the State Sector Act. Under section 5 of the Police Act, the Commissioner has all the rights, duties and powers of an employer in respect of the New Zealand Police as an organisation. He orshe must notify all job opportunities to enable suitably qualified people to apply for positions (section 9 of the Police Act), and employ the person best suited to the job (section 8 of the Police Act).
- Policing is a core function of the State, and as such the New Zealand Police, as an organisation closely resembles a Public Service department. As described in Parts C and D, a number of the practices and processes adopted in the State sector for assigning accountabilities also apply to the New Zealand Police, most notably:
- the contribution of the New Zealand Police to the Government's Strategic Result Areas is specified, and given operational effect through the six Key Result Areas;
- leading from (i), the Commissioner of Police and the Minister negotiate an annual Purchase Agreement specifying the amount and quality of the outputs to be delivered by the New Zealand Police. The Purchase Agreement is reasonably specific, and does create the potential for the Minister to alter law enforcement priorities consistent with the limits on Ministerial direction incorporated in the Memoranda of Understanding between the Minister and the Commissioner; and
- the financial accountabilities and associated reporting requirements specified in the Public Finance Act apply to the New Zealand Police.
- Notwithstanding, the New Zealand Police is distinguishable from a Public Service department in a number of respects.
- the power of the Minister of Police to direct the Commissioner is constrained by the Commissioner's original and independent statutory authority on law enforcement. The precise limits on the Minister 's powers are difficult to define, and amount to a distinction between Government policy and Police operations.
It is clear that the Minister cannot direct the Commissioner in criminal law enforcement, either in particular cases, on in classes of cases. The Minister can, however, impose binding requirement in respect of administration and resources.
- the difficulty in precisely defining the boundary between Government policy and Police operations has the effect of diluting the accountability of the Commissioner and the New Zealand Police, and has meant that the responsibilities of the Commissioner and the New Zealand Police have been defined in the broadest of terms only.
- whilst some parts of the State Sector Act regime apply to the New Zealand Police, others do not, most notably, the appointment processes for Chief Executives, and the procedures for reviewing the performance of Chief Executives.
- the power of the Minister of Police to direct the Commissioner is constrained by the Commissioner's original and independent statutory authority on law enforcement. The precise limits on the Minister 's powers are difficult to define, and amount to a distinction between Government policy and Police operations.
- The New Zealand Police manage assets of very substantial value, including a significant property portfolio. The main risk associated with owning these assets is that of ensuring that the assets are continuously assessed to ensure that they meet the needs of the New Zealand Police.
- A thorough analysis of the constitutional issues involving the New Zealand Police is contained in Appendix 1. The analysis focuses on the central issue of how to strengthen the accountability of the Commissioner and the Police consistent with their constitutional independence on law enforcement. Two broad approaches are identified, namely, a strengthening and extension of the current accountability arrangements contained in the Police Act and the State Sector Act, and a Management Board which exercises powers over resources and administration and holds the Commissioner to account for the effective and an efficient management of resources.
- 45.On balance, the former approach is favoured because it does not offend the constitutional independence of the Commissioner. An externally appointed Board analogous to a Board of Directors or a Commission, with powers over resources and administration, has the potential to create real tensions around the issues of constitutional independence. Such tensions are best addressed through a direct relationship between the Minister and the Commissioner. However, as discussed below, there may well be advantages in a Ministerially appointed Advisory Board to advise on the management of the Crowns ownership risk in the New Zealand Police.
- 46.The existing accountability arrangements could be strengthened and extended in a variety of ways:
- whilst it is not possible to clearly define the line between Government
policy and New Zealand Police operations, it is possible to make its workings
more transparent. This could be achieved by amending the Police Act to allow the
Minister of Police to give written directions to the Commissioner, which would
be tabled in the House of representatives (see Appendix 1);
- the Police Act should be amended to clearly set out its purpose, to define
the role of the Police, and to more clearly specify the responsibilities of the
- the Police Act could be brought more into line with those provisions in the
State Sector Act which would enhance accountability including:
- clarification of the appointment process for the Commissioner and Deputy
Commissioners including issues of tenure and removal;
- empowering the State Services Commissioner to review and report on the
performance of the Commissioner of Police;
- requiring the Commissioner of Police to report each year to the Minister on
the financial performance of the Police; and
- requiring the Commissioner to furnish a report on the operational components
of New Zealand Police activities, and on issues which are subject to Ministerial
- clarification of the appointment process for the Commissioner and Deputy
- whilst it is not possible to clearly define the line between Government
- The changes suggested above have the effect of more clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the Police Commissioner, and strengthening reporting and review procedures. As such, they are very much "after the event". However, given the magnitude of the Crown's ownership interest in the New Zealand Police, further measures are necessary to properly manage that risk. These could, to an extent, be achieved by the Minister of Police appointing a Management Advisory Board, comprising persons with business skills and experience, to advise the Minister on the New Zealand Police's Corporate intentions, including capital investments and divestments. This advice could also extend to assessing the adequacy of the business practices adopted by the New Zealand Police in managing its resources, and which in turn could feed into the State Service Commissioner's review of the Police Commissioner's performance.
- The Framework
- Changing the way in which an organisation is structured is not a panacea for real or perceived failure to deliver at an optimal level.2 However, poor structure can blur an organisation's focus on its goals, inhibit its ability to pick up signals from its stakeholders, reduce the speed and quality of its decision making, including the use of resources, and frustrate the people who work in it.
- Good people will always find a way to work around poor structure, but they should not have to. Considering change to structure within the context of an organisation's strategy should be an ongoing process rather that an intermittent, possibly wrenching, event. Put another way, developing and implementing an organisational strategy, whether in the public or private sectors, is an integral part of the life of an organisation, and like all other aspects, the organisation's structure must be constantly reviewed to ensure it contributes to (or at least does not inhibit) the organisation's effectiveness in achieving its goals. Structure should follow strategy, or, in a static sense, form follows function.3
- It is also incumbent upon the New Zealand Police to constantly improve efficiency, and its initiatives in this are touched on elsewhere in this report. Organisational structure has an obvious impact on this, but again, the context must be recognised - designing an organisational structure for New Zealand Police must take account of the legislative/governance environment (statutory responsibilities), the Policing Strategy (effectiveness), the normal State Sector/Police Finance Act ownership responsibilities (efficiency), and the current structure (transition costs).
- In a crude sense, this includes balancing strategic capability (the ability to deliver, including in response to rare and/or unexpected demands), with operational excellence (the no-waste, efficient "machine"). This, of course, is the challenge faced by all organisations.
- How the Structure of New Zealand Police Was Reviewed
- The organisational structure of the New Zealand Police was reviewed within
the context of the overall review. The analysis and design work built on an
intensive amount of work already undertaken by a Police Structures Working
Party. The review goal was set by the review's Terms of Reference, but, in a
more fundamental sense, by the Government's Strategic Result Areas and the
Policing Strategy discussed elsewhere in this report.
- A set of "Operating Assumptions for Structures and Service Delivery" was
identified and refined throughout the review to guide the design work. These are
appended as Appendix 3. In addition, "Key Principles" were identified to guide
the design of the Commissioner's Office, which are also appended in Appendix 3.
Both the "Assumptions" and "Key Principles" are a mixture of high-level and
second-order criteria that fall into the two broad factors of:
- strategic capability; and
- operational excellence
- "Strategic capability" relates to the New Zealand Police's; capability to deliver on its strategic goals, and encompasses:
- thinking strategically;
- ability to manage risk; and
- flexibility and innovation;
- The organisational structure must foster and maintain strategic
thinking: indirectly by enabling information flows externally (information
exchange with stakeholders), and internally ie. ensuring strategy takes account
of "coalface" reality, and equally, that those on the frontline are working in
concert with the overall strategy; and directly, by maintaining some resource
focused on strategic development. It must harness the ideas and initiatives of
the highly trained, experienced, frontline staff.
- Risk assessment must be ongoing to ensure the maintenance of a
reasonable capability to act and react to policing situations. Like strategic
thinking, this must be in integral to policing at all levels.
- Given the nature of the Policing Strategy, the speed of change in society
generally and of new technology, the challenge to New Zealand Police is to
ensure the fluid nature of the strategy process in reflected in
flexibility and innovation.
- Finally, along with the expectation that everyone in New Zealand Police must
contribute to strategy is the necessity of giving "managers" and constables
maximum leeway to both do this and deliver policing services. This in turn
requires clear and robust accountability mechanisms.
- "Operational excellence" relates to the New Zealand Police's efficiency, and
- "customer focus";
- quality of service;
- the freedom of the Commissioner and other "managers" to manage resources efficiently;
- cost minimisation
- the number and nature of direct reports (span of control) to the Commissioner and other "managers";
- transparency of decision making; and
- clear lines of accountability and no duplication of functions.
- "Customer focus" to the New Zealand Police means understanding the
needs and expectations of its customers and delivering services that meet or
exceed their needs and expectations. This involves positioning all Police
officers and the organisation to understand the needs of the public, Iwi, and
Government. It requires all New Zealand Police staff to have the skills to
deliver a quality service to their customers and work in partnership with them
to achieve their vision of Safer Communities Together.
- Empowering the Commissioner and other "managers" to manage resources
efficiently and to minimise costs is a dimension of the accountability mechanism
referred to under "strategic capability", as are the other factors of a
reasonable number of direct reports (span of control) to the Commissioner (and
other "managers") - this of course is heavily influenced by nature of the
activity undertaken by the direct reports, but, in any case, requires sound
management information systems - transparency of decision making, and clear
lines of accountability and no duplication of functions.
- The Preferred Option
- In developing an organisational structure, two polar extremes in terms of
approach are possible - developing and testing a wide range of options against
established criteria, or an iterative approach using the criteria to build a
preferred option. This review adopted an approach somewhere in the middle, but
closest to the latter.
- As noted, the design work on the preferred option described below was
conducted in the context of the overall review and cannot be seen in isolation
from it - for example, the review of property management led to conclusions
impacting on the organisational structure, and the section on Property
Management discusses some detail in this regard.
- The design of the preferred option was driven by a tight focus on:
- maintenance of a strategic capability to ensure delivery of the Policing
Strategy (effectiveness); and
- core policing competencies (efficiency).
- maintenance of a strategic capability to ensure delivery of the Policing
- It has the following key characteristics:
- devolution of responsibility to the lowest competent level, with concomitant robust accountability mechanisms;
- empowerment of the frontline and Districts to the maximum degree possible (a dimension of devolution);
- streamlined reporting lines including:
- the elimination of the regional office layer and other layers of hierarchy consistent with other factors such as reasonable span of control; and
- direct links between Districts and the Commissioner and senior officers/managers;
- an emphasis on frontline delivery, with national/interregional, and support services being provided on an internal contracting basis ("service level agreements" akin to those found in many public sector agencies);
- national/interregional services (eg. monitoring of gang behaviour) grouped into "service centres";
- a small Commissioner's office focused on support for the Minister, Commissioner, and, for strategic advice to districts; and
- a three-pronged approach to support services:
- districts being resourced to manage most support services in a day-to- day sense (with an emphasis on "managers" assuming greater responsibility in accordance with increased devolution, and district support staff, such as human resource advisers, providing advice and assistance rather than having line responsibility);
- the Commissioner's office retaining strategic oversight of support services; and
- services outside of policing core competencies being outsourced (see the section on Outsourcing).
- The preferred option for the national organisational structure.
- The preferred option would see a major change from the status quo:
- enhanced relationship (communication and accountability) between the key "players" responsible for managing service delivery, by direct reporting lines between the Commissioner and District "Managers";
- role of District "Managers" will enhanced by this relationship, with their performance agreements being linked directly to KRAs;
- the Office of the Commissioner becomes a small, multi-skilled unit focused on supporting the Minister, Commissioner and Districts; and
- District Offices will combine skilled management support teams focused on best practice performance.
- The District "Managers", together with the Commissioner and other senior staff, would form an Operating Committee, which would focus on the efficient and effective delivery of outputs to achieve the Government's public safety objectives. It would also develop a strategy to manage major security events such as APEC. The Committee would constantly monitor the support services necessary to fulfil the District's obligations, and would provide a forum for cross fertilisation of ideas.
- The Service Centre concept would see a number of national/support services grouped and providing services to Districts (and, for, say, management information, to the Commissioner's Office) via a direct purchase contract.
The services could include:
- traffic safety
- HR support (eg. payroll)
- finance (non-strategic accounting services)
- How the services could be configured into groups would need further work - one possibility is to divide them into those relating to policing capability (eg forensic), and those related to more generic processing functions (eg. payroll). Some functions may be suitable for outsourcing.
- The preferred option for a typical District office.
- The map indicates 11 Districts, a reduction from the current 16. Arguments can be mounted for a range of numbers of District offices, but 11 was preferred taking into account:
- the elimination of the regional structure;
- natural communities/geographical boundaries; and
- reasonable span of control - both in terms of manageability for the District
"manager", and in terms of direct reports to the Commissioner.
- Whilst not addressed on the preceding diagrams, the rationalisation of the number of Districts would also suggest a reduction in the number of Areas/Groups (the next and final management unit below the District level) from 57 to 48 - or 4 to 5 per District "manager".
- Each District Office would have about 11 staff, with the possibility of slightly more in major cities. The "template" in the proceeding diagram could be varied to meet local needs, but would broadly reflect:
Strategy, managing change, policy, communications, Iwi and partnerships.
Major investigations, squads, specialists and forensic
Non-sworn HR specialist
Non-sworn financial specialist, contracts, assets, administration and corporate planning
District traffic and operational units, intelligence, professional standards
In metropolitan Districts, the following may also be included:
The preferred option for the Commissioner's Office.
- The Office of the Commissioner exists to support the Minister, the Commissioner, and the Districts. The broad roles for each function on the diagram are described below:
Policy and Liaison, and Public Affairs
- assisting Commissioner set national direction of organisation defining
strategies to support the national goals
- ensure activities are coordinated with other sector partners
- provide input into the national policy development process
- ensure there is clear communication with all stakeholders
Resource Management Group
- provide a sound organisational framework to ensure an efficient and
effective use of resources;
- provide guidance and support to District and Area Managers to assist them in
exercising their functions;
- administer those services centralised in order to achieve economies of scale
eg. payroll and accounts; and
- provide advice on complying with legislative and central agency
requirements. Policing Development: Co-ordination of research and project
- national and international intelligence clearing house;
- tactical and specialist services eg. Communications Centres; Forensic;
- Co-ordination and Management of National Operations;
- Peer Review and Quality Assurance of major District Investigations;
- Management of special events (APEC) or special investigations ; and
- Separate Prosecutions (consistent with Law Commission recommendation).
Audit and Performance Management
- Undertakes compliance and Internal Audit functions; and
- Reviews organisational effectiveness eg. thematic reviews on District initiatives with local Iwi.
- What follows is a summary analysis of the status quo, a divisional structure, and the preferred option.
- Given the Terms of Reference and the other review recommendations, the status quo is not an option, but summarising the analysis of it links the issue identification specifically to the current organisational structure.
- The current structure clearly contributes to some of the New Zealand Police's weaknesses. The structure is an awkward mix of a many-layered hierarchy, matrix management, and vertical "pillars" of services. Combined (and, arguably, each component on their own), they may inhibit and compartmentalise strategic thinking. The overall strategy may not always be clear to those on the frontline.
The risk of dissipated accountability inherent in a matrix management model,
and the risk of "patch protection" inherent in "pillars", do not aid risk
assessment at the strategic level, and the consequent prioritisation of
resources. These components, and especially the many layers of the hierarchy4, inhibit flexibility and
innovation. Management autonomy at the middle management level is in many
respects illusory given the many input controls.
- The structure does provide for "command" responses necessary in the policing
environment, but the question remains about the degree to which a clearer,
simple structure would allow "middle managers" to maintain a strategic
capability within their area of responsibility.
- The weak "feedback loop" in relation to external stakeholders referred to
above, coupled with the relative lack of autonomy of "middle managers", sits
uncomfortably with the Policing Strategy, and community policing in particular -
in short, there are obstacles to "client focus".
- As noted, there is room to increase "manager" autonomy, and allow them to
make resource trade-offs that best suit their area of responsibility to maintain
strategic capability and minimise cost.
- Also as noted, the current hierarchal/matrix/"pillar" hybrid structure means
decision making is emphatically not transparent to staff not directly involved
in the process, nor to external stakeholders. This issue of clear lines of
accountability is a dimension of transparency in this context. The relative lack
of accountability of "managers" means where the "buck stops" for a given issue
is not always clear to those at a lower level in the organisation (or to
external stakeholders). This is exacerbated by the matrix component.
- Finally, the hierarchy, coupled with the regional structure and the
functions located in them, strongly suggest duplication of functions.
- A "divisional" model was considered in the early stages of the design work.
This would entail a Commissioner's Office responsible for governance,
goal-setting and monitoring, and other corporate functions, and two or more
national divisions each focused on a particular function, eg. traffic; or
divisions based on outputs. This model could be compared to the
holding/subsidiary company model in the private sector, or a number of Public
Service departments such as Social Welfare and Labour.
- However, several factors quickly ruled out detailed consideration of this
- the Policing Strategy, particularly the concept of community policing, rests
on devolution of responsibilities to the lowest competent level;
- the Constable is at the frontline and, as discussed, has a wide brief within
statutory parameters. Put in conventional terms, Constables and the
supervisory/management positions of Sergeant and Senior Sergeant are
multi-skilled positions of significant authority and responsibility. They are
required, over time, to operate across the full range of policing activities.
They reflect, at the level of the individual, the flexible nature of frontline
policing where resources are deployed across a wide range of duties. Reinforcing
organisational "pillars" by adopting a divisional structure would introduce an
organisational obstacle to this flexibility.
- the Policing Strategy, particularly the concept of community policing, rests
- The preferred option will enhance the New Zealand Police's strategic
capability to achieve the Government's higher order strategic policing
direction. The centrality of strategic thinking will be reinforced by:
- the refocussing of the Commissioner's Office on the Governments strategic
direction and monitoring of the performance in terms of the Policing Strategy of
the districts and the service centres;
- enhanced, "built-in" links between the Commissioner' Office and the
"coalface" by streamlining the lines of accountability;
- the expectation of strategic thinking on the part of all Police staff
inherent in maximum devolution. This, combined with better links to the
Commissioner's Office, will also enhance external information flows; and
- maintenance of a strategic policy resource in the Commissioner's Office.
- Staffing of Preferred Option
- Allocating staff numbers to a redesigned organisation is, in the end, a matter of judgement rather than a precise science. However, the key criteria referred to in the analysis of options earlier provide a guide. For example, the strategic focus of the Commissioner's Office clearly points to a small entity akin to such offices in many public and private sector organisations. Other criteria were also applied, such as a ratio of one NCO Supervisor to 5 Constables as a sound supervision ratio for Police.
- As noted in the Introduction, the review team welcomes comment on the tentative staffing figures outlined below:
|Commissioner's Office||- Commissioner
- 145 positions
|District Management and Support Staff||- 128|
- Staffing Reductions Generated by Preferred Options
- The frontline is not affected. By refocussing the Commissioner's Office and streamlining the hierarchy, staff reductions can be broadly identified as follows:
- Pursuing outsourcing of non-core services, and the practical establishment of the service centres, may also lead to fewer staff being required.
- Financial Savings From Staff Reductions in Preferred Options
- The estimated savings in direct personal costs generated by the staff reductions of the preferred option is of the order of $24 million. This figure assumes pay and related costs of $60,000 per position for the Districts, and in the case Commissioner's Office is broadly based or actual salary bands.
- The Training Directorate of New Zealand Police is required to report to Cabinet by the end of June on options for Police training. The process is well advanced: most of the strategic issues have been identified and analysed, and cost options have been identified around strategic needs. The total expenditure on training by the New Zealand Police (including trainee salaries) is $16.7 million, of which $12.2 million is spent on the Royal New Zealand Police College. the analyses thus far has identified initiat on-going savings from the operation of the Police College alone of $3.1 million. The College should plan to realise these savings in their own right as soon as possible ie. irrespective of what scenarios are finally decided for Police training.
- Why Outsource?
- Outsourcing of non-core activities can yield significant benefits over time.
The key to successful outsourcing is to have a framework in place to monitor
service delivery on an ongoing basis ie. to ensure that the organisation is
getting the best deal and the best quality.
- The principal benefits from outsourcing are:
- lower cost, deriving in part from the economies of scale achieved by the outsourcer
- higher quality, arising from the higher skills possessed by the outsource, and
- mitigation of risk, because the outsourcers commercial viability is at stake and they will wear the cost of time overruns or budget blowouts.
- There are costs involved in outsourcing, principally in terms of staff required to specify the contractual requirements and to monitor outcomes. These will, to some extent, offset the money saved.
- A range of non-core support servicing currently performed by the New Zealand
Police have been assessed for outsourcing against explicit criteria. The
- whether coercive powers are involved in delivering the service
- the impact of the service on core Police capability
- the strategic alignment of the service to core business
- the ability to manage contract failure: is the service readily retrievable
in these circumstances
- the synergy with the services currently provided by potential outsourcers
- the reliability of potential outsourcers
- the ability to change, ie. to separate management systems, to resolve
accommodation issues, to continue to secure internal cooperation, to easily
manage the transition, and to contain the cost of change (including redundancy).
- The services scoped have, on the basis of these criteria, being categorised
according to likely time frames for completion, and an estimate of the potential
net benefits of outsourcing made. The lack of available information concerning
these services has constrained the analysis, and the expected net benefits are
indicative only at this stage.
- New Zealand Police Services That Should be Considered for Outsourcing
Completion within 6 Months
|Service||Estimated Benefits $mill|
|Property Ownership/Management (not rationalisation)
Equipment receive stores
Equip - stores and supply (not including optimisation of purchases)
Management review and audit
Completion in 12-18 months
|Service||Estimated Benefits $mill|
Lost & Found Property
Search & Rescue
Provide Speed Camera Operation
Possible Completion within 2-3 years, pending resolution of strategic issues
|IT development (additional)
Provide Commercial Vehicle Investigation
- A number of other services warrant analysis to determine suitability for outsources. At this stage, there is insufficient information upon which to base any judgement about the benefits of outsourcing. These services could include matters such as recruitment, passport enquiries and travel arrangements.
PURCHASING OF SUPPLIES
- 108.The New Zealand Police are significant purchaser of goods and services. Major areas are telecommunications, computer associated hardware and vehicles. It is important for the future to develop a purchasing strategy which maximises the benefits both financial and non-financial from the suppliers who are a part of the value chain of the New Zealand Police.
- A tendering process should be in place for the top 100 purchases to be
tendered on a once per year basis. Items for tender should be packaged from the
various sectors of the New Zealand Police in a way most attractive for
suppliers. Given the size of the purchases additional value should be extracted
by way of guarantees, technology updates and additional warranty periods for
vehicles over the above that being offered by general practice.
- Benefits which can be maximised by an appropriate process and strategy
include buy- back clauses to be exercised at the end of the useful life of
appropriate items, technological upgrades, and financing arrangements. A central
professional negotiator should be responsible for the formalising and leading of
- The current expenditure on supplies is of the order of $70 million. Savings
of around 5%, or $3.5 million, should be readily achievable through the adoption
of a more aggressive purchasing strategy.
A substantial part of the Crown's ownership interest in the Police is tied
up in property. The Police have 599 freehold properties with a book value of
$312.6 million (including 184 houses at a book value of 15.3 million). The
Police also lease 166 additional properties, at a total net rent of $8.6
- An analysis of property management issues confronting the Police is contained in Appendix 3. The analysis was originally going to focus on two issues:
- the rationale for the continuing ownership of property by the Police, and the potential for selling property and leasing; and
- the location of Police premises relative to public safety risk, and the scope for swapping prime sites for alternative locations.
- The analysis has revealed that consideration of these issues is premature. This is because there are underlying problems with property management that must be addressed first, notably:
- the absence of a planned national property strategy, rooted in a firm understanding of property needs, to facilitate rational, consistent, and nationally directed property decisions v
- the absence of robust property information and reporting systems
- a decentralised property process with little in the way of accountability specification and performance measurement. There is no consistency of asset or service procurement.
- arising from (iii), little opportunity is taken for global efficiencies. The National Property Office has no service level agreements with the regions.
- a depreciation regime whose rates are lower than the Inland Revenue
Department published rates.
- properties, particularly houses, which are in average or poor condition.
Little money is spent on property maintenance, with the result that deferred
maintenance is high (estimated at $2.4 million for Police stations alone).
- The immediate imperative is to bring decisions on property back within a national framework. One way of achieving this would be to establish a Property Service Organisation headed by a Property Manager, and to vest ownership of New Zealand Police property in that organisation. The Property Manager would report to the Chief Financial Officer, and be assisted by three property managers located outside of Wellington each managing an agreed portfolio of districts.
- 116.Are specifically, the functions of the Property Service Organisation would be:
- to establish in consultation with District Managers a national property strategy appropriate to the new organisation and directions of policing;
- to develop an evaluative programme for considering the viability and priority of capital works;
- to develop and implement a property management information system with appropriate performance measures and benchmarks to identify performance improvement opportunities as the portfolio evolves;
- to enter into service agreements with District Managers on the provision of property, this initially being done on an occupation and capital charge basis district by district. The service agreements would cover occupation, maintenance, cleaning, compliance, and energy purchase. The application of a capital charge alone will cause District Managers to think carefully about their property needs. These will dispel the notion that property is a free good; and
- to urgently review maintenance requirements with a view to bringing all property up to a satisfactory standard. Funding for this should fall outside of normal operating budgets.
- There are, however, some more immediate opportunities to rationalise at least part of the property portfolio:
- the preferred organisational structure described earlier means that the Commissioner's Office could be housed in an area of around 3000sq metres, at a current total occupation of $750,000 annum for similar quality accommodation. The total occupancy cost a present is 2.4 million. The lease expires on 8 April 2000 and if renewed would result in a considerable surplus of accommodation, if the preferred structure is adopted. Given the potential savings in rent, it is important to establish the accommodation requirements for the Commissioner's Office as soon as possible so that alternatives can be identified which meet the requirements within a sufficient timeframe to enable withdrawal and relocation from the current property;
- the lease on the accommodation at Transport House, Wellington expires on 30/9/2000. A right of renewal for six years in available, but at a rental higher than the market rental level. The lease should either be restructured to apply only to the space the Police require, and failing this, viable alternatives should be identified within this timeframe; and
- in respect of housing, a total review of housing stock should be undertaken urgently with a view to a disposal of those properties which are not genuinely required to satisfy "hard to fill" policing requirements. Initial indications are that some $13 million could be realised through this process. Some of these savings could be released to address deferred maintenance.
- The gains specified above are relatively modest compared with the potential gains arising from a rationalisation of the property stock within the context of a national strategic property plan.
- The resources potentially released as a consequence of the proposed initiatives identified in the review are, in summary:
|Full Year||First Year*|
|(when all savings realised)|
|1. District Office Rationalisation||13.2||6.6|
|2. Elimination of Regions||4.5||2.3|
Rationalisation of Police National Headquarters
Police Training College
|5. Purchasing of Supplies||3.5||1.8|
|6.Outsourcing of non-core services||20.0||2.8|
|$50.5 million||$18.1 million|
* Assuming savings realised in the second six months only.
- The savings identified in 1-4 above do not fully reflect the gains arising from reduced overheads: ie. rent, heat, light, power, telecommunications, and so forth. For example the section on Property Management property revealed significant potential gains arising from a better specification of requirements for the Commissioner's Office, and the consequent implications for the leases on the Molesworth Street property and Transport House. Savings of the order of $2.25 million from these initiatives alone are possible. The extent of reductions in other overheads, however, depends on what decisions are taken or the uses to be made of this released resources (eg. the balance between capital and operational expenditure).
- The changes underlying these savings will improve the efficiency of the New Zealand Police and will also enhance it's ability to achieve the Government's public safety objectives.
- Submissions will be received from June 11 1998 until July 2 1998 from New Zealand Police staff and from other stakeholders.
- Submissions should be in writing and can be forwarded to two locations, one for New Zealand Police staff and one for other submissions.
- The mailing address for New Zealand Police staff is:
Police National Headquarters
PO Box 3017
- The mailing address for other submissions is:
PO Box 5256
APPENDIX 1: CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES INVOLVING THE POLICE
AN ANALYSIS FOR THE
INDEPENDENT EXTERNAL REVIEW
ADMINISTRATIVE AND MANAGEMENT
CHEN & PALMER
BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS
- The Government has decided to undertake an external review of Police administrative and management levels and structures in order to identify opportunities for achieving efficiency savings without compromising front-line capability. It is necessary to examine the constitutional position of the Police in New Zealand to undertake that task effectively. Otherwise inappropriate measures may be suggested. The Police differ from ordinary Departments of State. The constitutional issues relating to them are unique. It is necessary to understand those issues and be sensitive to them in order to ensure that the constitutional relationships are preserved. The fundamental public purpose of those relationships is to ensure that in a democratic society Police decisions that impact directly on individual citizens are not the result of political decisions. The first purpose of this paper is to define what those constitutional relationships are.
- The second part of the paper will suggest some structural changes that could be considered to provide a more optimal framework through which to administer the Police. The Police Act was passed in 1958. There have been many changes in public administration since then. While the Act has been amended from time to time, it nevertheless bears many of the hallmarks of its earlier history.
- The problems that exist with the current arrangements need to be identified to provide a context for further discussion. It is clear that a number of elements of a constitutional nature contribute significantly to the present situation:
- The Police Act 1958, though it has been amended, does not fully reflect the changes that have occurred in the state sector during this decade.
- There is an absence of transparency in present arrangements.
- The accountabilities of the Police and the Commissioner are numerous and
not clearly defined.
- The role of the Police is not defined clearly in law though the duties of a constable have been developed in both the common law and statute law.
- While the constitutional independence of the Commissioner in matters of operational law enforcement has long been recognised, its boundaries have not been defined, resulting in a lack of clarity in accountability.
- The Commissioner's accountability to the Minister is not dealt with in the Act, but in somewhat unsatisfactory terms in the Police Regulations 1992.
- Some of the mechanisms developed in the state sector to enhance the accountability of chief executives need to be refined to accommodate the constitutional position of the Commissioner with respect to operational law enforcement matters.
- Though there may be other factors outside the scope of this paper that impact on the shortcomings of present arrangements, attention is given to issues of governance that promise to contribute to better accountability and performance.
- This paper will provide background material on several issues:
- the contemporary role of the Police
- aspects of the independence of the Commission in respect to operational law enforcement matters
- existing state sector mechanisms which address accountability issues
- overseas approaches to accountability issues.
- linkages between funding and service delivery
II EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
amended to improve the governance arrangements for the Police.
defined, but its workings made transparent by amending the Police Act along the
lines carried out in Queensland, with appropriate adjustments for New Zealand
directions to the Commissioner and these would be tabled in the House of
and purpose in the Police Act.
by an amendment to the Police Act which, among other things, should set out a
provision that now appears in Regulation 3 of the Police Regulations 1992.
up with some of the provisions that are contained in the State Sector Act 1988.
In this respect, a number of steps should be taken:
- Clarification of the Appointment process for the Commissioner and Deputy
Commissioners including issues of tenure and removal.
- In respect to financial performance the existing relationship between the
Treasury and the Commissioner could be extended to require an end of year report
on financial performance to be provided to the Minister.
- Statutory provision for a purchase agreement between the Commissioner and
- A statutory recognition of the authority of the Commissioner to issue
directions on specific matters.
- The State Services Commissioner should be empowered under the Police Act to
review and report on the performance of the Commissioner of Police.
- The Police Commissioner should be under an obligation to furnish a report on
the operational components of Police activities and on issues relating to any
Ministerial directions in the same way as the State Services Commissioner is
required to report under section 19 of the State Sector Act.
future. The model favoured is an enhancement of the state sector model in
respect to the Police. This is favoured because it is thought that policing is a
core activity of the State.
- an Advisory Board for the Police;
- an Executive Board which could involve direct external involvement in the
governance of the Police; and
- some other examples of Boards formed from the Public Sector.
III THE ROLE OF THE POLICE
- The role of the Police has developed over time and particularly over the last two decades. This section briefly discusses the emerging role of the Police together with the underlying operational assumptions behind that role. The section concludes with an operational theory of policing in New Zealand that points towards the increasing inter-relationships of Police within strategic government outcomes and the wider social, economic and criminal justice environment.
- It is seldom understood how relatively modern the idea of a Police force is. It was not until 1829 that Sir Robert Peel's Police began to enforce the law in the streets of London. Those first Police were superintended by two Commissioners. The Metropolitan Police Act 1829 provided the "world's first preventive, professional, legally accountable Police force".5 In 1852 in New Zealand a set of rules and regulations of the Constabulary Force of New Zealand were promulgated. Apparently these drew heavily on the Metropolitan Police example in London.6
- Policing in New Zealand initially tended to follow the British Westminster model. That model focussed on the idea of keeping a watch on communities and keeping the peace (as opposed to a principal focus of enforcing the law).
- It is accepted that the nine principles of the Peelite British Policing model were:
- The basic mission for which the Police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
- The ability of the Police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of Police actions.
- Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
- The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
- Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
- Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
- Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the Police are the public and the public are the Police; the Police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
- Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
- The test of Police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.7
- The principles still appear to be appropriate today and their thread can be seen in the New Zealand Police Operational Strategic Approach outlined below .
- The early focus of the Peel model was visibility and access of the
patrolling officers. Some decades later Police organisations took on greater
criminal investigation roles, other social services, and bureaucratic management
processes. By the early decades of this century modern policing organisations
began to take shape.
- The policing role changed to take account of urbanisation, the use of
motor cars and other profound social changes which provided a sophisticated and
mobile population. Policing by foot patrolling gave way to a new form of
mobility and motorised patrolling emerged. The use of telephone dispatch
technology and radio altered the function and roles of policing from the
minimalist surveillance of the beat officer to an integrated surveillance and
attendance system. Police took on a role of crime prevention and emergency
response by motorised patrolling. The underlying assumptions of this approach
focused on ideas of rational deterrence (based on a view of crime and social
disorder as being the product of rational decision making) and rapid response
(which would both protect the citizen and have a high probability of
- A central theme of the approach was that the more effective the Police
became in arresting offenders and patrolling the streets, the more that rational
criminals would think twice about breaking the law. This approach is also
inherent in the recently published Controlling Crime in New Zealand by
Cathy Buchanan and Peter Hartley.8
- There are problems associated with the rational deterrence model.
- First, the research base on the effectiveness of such strategies
provides little support for them. United States research from the 1960s tends to
discredit the impact of rationalist motivated strategies on crime and disorder
problems. The results of this body of work challenged a rational deterrent view
of policing. Few patrol strategies were found to be effective in preventing
crime from occurring and many of the underlying operational assumptions behind
patrolling were not supported.
- It can be argued, however, that the model only needs to work at the
margins of crime to make a difference. i.e. if only 5% of property criminals
thought this way then providing they were the right 5% they could have a
significant impact on property crime. Some more recent (1990s) New Zealand
Justice Department research that involved interviewing offenders suggests some
support for the notion that perceptions of the risk of capture have a deterrent
- Second, the focus of response is narrowed from a joint Police-community
role and responsibility to primarily a Police role and responsibility. This
approach is also reactive in that it waits for things to occur and then responds
- Third, random patrol and rapid response are resource intensive and
therefore expensive activities, which give rise to questions whether alternative
approaches might be more cost effective.
- These trends gave rise to the development of community orientated policing in the 1970s. This approach sought to rejoin the community into the policing debate and capability and also focus on a broader approach to crime prevention.
- While community orientated policing styles vary, fundamental characteristics include:
- Efforts to restore strong ties between Police, Police officers and communities
- Decentralisation of command structures
- Decentralisation of Police stations
- A re-emphasis on foot patrols and high visibility
- An emphasis on the reduction of crime and the fear of crime and community support for policing objectives and the Police themselves.
- More latterly a problem-oriented, as opposed to reactive, approach to policing emphasising pro-activity and partnership with community and other agencies in an effort to prevent crime and risks.
- Successive Governments in New Zealand have embraced this policing model and Police have adopted a community orientation strategy alongside a wider patrol infrastructure and role. Full implementation has yet to be achieved and part of the on-going debate involves the proper function and resourcing of patrol activities, investigation and problem solving policing.
IV THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE POLICE
- Issues of accountability relating to the Police is a vast topic which cannot be canvassed except in outline in this paper. The essential issue in Police accountability revolves around the following contradiction: How can the Police be made accountable to somebody that is representative of the community, and yet not be subject to political pressures that would diminish the capacity of the Police to administer the law impartially as between different groups or classes in society? The answer to this question has essentially been shaped by practice and convention in New Zealand.
- One important essay on Police accountability is that of Robert Reiner entitled "Police Accountability: Principles, Patterns and Practices".9
- As Reiner points out, accountability is one of the thorniest conundrums of statecraft. The Police, being carriers of the State's bedrock power, a monopoly of legitimate force, raise particular problems in relation to accountability. Reiner's analysis raises the questions that need to be answered in a particularly vivid manner. He says:
- The police exercise powers which profoundly affect the lives of all citizens. In a democracy it is expected that those who wield public power must be fully accountable for this. The first step in designing an adequate structure for accountability for the police must be to go back to basics. What type of decisions do the police make, explicitly and implicitly, in exercising their powers? To whom should they be accountable for the different sorts of decisions? What type of accountability should they have to relevant bodies? What mechanisms should be established to deliver effectively the appropriate type of accountability to such bodies?10
- Within the New Zealand framework a number of audit, scrutiny and performance reporting mechanisms currently exist. These include:
- The Minister of Police's authority to implement an inquiry into Police activities headed by a Judge (section 56 of the Police Act).
- The requirement to report annually through the Minister of Police to Parliament on Police operations, specifically those involving use of any special Police powers e.g. use of listening devices (section 65 of the Police Act).
- The independent review of Police operations, practices and procedures as contained within the Police Complaints Authority Act 1988.
- The requirement to undertake all reporting functions as defined under Section 33 of the Public Finance Act (production of Forecast Reports, Annual Reports and other reports as set out within Treasury requirements).
- The Annual Report to the Parliament and Safety (Administration) Programme is subject to external audit.
- Parliamentary Select Committee process scrutinises annual estimates as well as the standard financial Review. Select Committees also can examine topics of concern on their own motion.
- Cabinet Committees can implement specific reporting procedures (e.g. INCIS).
- The Minister of Police receives monthly performance reports.
- Ministers can appoint specific reviews as required (e.g. the current review on Police Administrative and Management Levels and Structures).
- A capability for the Police Complaints Authority to report on any unactioned recommendations to the Attorney General who can table a report before Parliament (section 29 of the Police Complaints Authority Act).
- Judicial scrutiny and adverse comment during routine court hearings.
- Participation in National Committees such as the National Road Safety Committee and peer performance scrutiny e.g. criminal justice Chief Executives group.
MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND POLICE INDEPENDENCE
- In New Zealand, the question of how far Ministers should make the
decisions relating to Police and how far they should stand aside has always been
the subject of some controversy. Constitutionally the distinction between
whether there is a proper or improper Ministerial intervention may turn on
whether the matter "is defined as administrative or operational".11
- XXXVII.37. These difficulties have significant administrative consequences. As Neil
Cameron has commented:
The absence of a clear Ministerial power to direct, and the general
acceptance of a wide notion of Police independence, naturally affects the second
major area of potential political influence - Parliamentary comment and
questioning. In the first place, the very vagueness of the legal and
constitutional position means that it is unclear what types of questions can
properly be asked of the Minister and what types of policing topics can properly
- As the same commentator goes on to say:
Detailed issues relating to policing are seldom debated in the
House. This means that the limits of the Minister's powers have never been
authoritatively determined in New Zealand in practice.
- The essence of the conundrum is that the Police machinery can quite
properly claim that there should be no formal political control over critical
elements of it. The principles of Ministerial responsibility which are applied
in ordinary Departments of State require the Department to carry out the
policies laid down by the Minister. The Minister is responsible for those
policies and for securing the resources with which to pursue them. But it does
not take much thought to realise that rigorous application of the principles of
Ministerial responsibility to policing raises difficult problems. It cannot be
that a Minister with political allegiances could make decisions about whom the
Police should arrest and prosecute. And, indeed, in New Zealand Ministers of
Police do not make those decisions.
Prosecution and the Constitution
- The Police are responsible for the prosecution of nearly all summary
cases. The Police also appear at the preliminary hearings of most cases
proceeding indictably. However, if the defendant is committed for trial, the
Crown Solicitor presents the indictment.13 The Police are responsible
for the initial decision whether or not to prosecute and they may choose an
alternative to prosecution, such as a caution or diversion. In addition, the
Police have a broad discretion as to whether or not to investigate an offence,
and to determine whether sufficient evidence is available to justify
prosecution. In various cases the Police also have a choice as to the procedure
to prosecute (summary or indictable) and may determine what kind of proceedings
are in the public interest. In the 1996-1997 year 526,372 general criminal
offences were reported to the Police of which 42.1 percent were cleared and
108,892 prosecutions were brought.14
- The Police Act is not, by any means, the end of the applicable law that
relates to the Police. There is no statutory basis for the prosecution functions
that are carried out by the Police. The powers of the Police to prosecute arise
indirectly because Parliament creates many statutory offences and it is the
responsibility of the Police to investigate alleged breaches of these offences.
In respect of offences carrying terms of imprisonment, the power of arrest is
generally conferred on the Police. It is this power along with general powers of
seizure conferred on the Police which enable the Police to undertake their
investigatory role and then charge persons with particular offences where there
is sufficient evidence.
- In carrying out their prosecution functions, the Police are required to
follow the Police General Instructions issued under section 30 of the Police
Act. These Instructions set out the role for prosecutors and are currently being
superseded by the Manual of Best Practice. The Manual incorporates the
Prosecution Guidelines issued by the Solicitor-General. These Guidelines have
been issued by the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General. Paragraphs 1.1
and 2.3 set out the responsibilities of the law officers:
1.1 ... It is the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, as law officers of
the Crown whose responsibility it is to ensure that those officers and agencies
behave with propriety and in accordance with principle when carrying out their
2.3 The Attorney-General as the senior law officer of the Crown has ultimate
responsibility for the Crown's prosecution processes. Successive
Attorneys-General however have taken the view that it is inappropriate for them,
as Ministers in the government of the day, to become involved in decision-making
about the prosecution of individuals.
- By convention, the Attorney-General exercises any discretion in respect
of prosecutions free from political direction or influence. As a matter of
day-to-day practice, the Solicitor-General exercises these powers. However, in
certain circumstances, the consent of the Attorney-General is necessary before a
prosecution can be brought.15
- There are famous common law cases setting out the powers of the Police.
Many of the notions used in these cases are derived from the common law status
of a Constable, who is a Police Officer.
- Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls and a celebrated English Judge, set
out in ringing phrases how he saw the constitutional role of the Police in a
famous case decided in England in 1968. He said this:
I have no hesitation in holding that, like every Constable in the land, he
should be, and is, independent of the Executive, he is not subject to the Orders
of the Secretary of State, save that under the Police Act 1964, the Secretary of
State can call upon him to give a report, or to retire in the interests of
efficiency. I hold it to be the duty of the Commissioner of Police of the
Metropolis, as it is of every Chief Constable, to enforce the law of the land.
He must take steps so to post his men that crimes may be detected; and that
honest citizens may go about their affairs in peace. He must decide whether or
not suspected persons are to be prosecuted; and, if need be, bring the
prosecution or see that it is brought. But in all these things he is not the
servant of anyone, save the law itself. No Minister of the Crown can tell him
that he must, or must not, keep observation on this place or that; or that he
must, or must not, prosecute this man or that one. Nor can any Police Authority
tell him so. The responsibility for law enforcement lies on him. He is
answerable to the law and the law alone.16
- This account has been trenchantly criticised in the New Zealand context,
particularly by Professor Gordon Orr, as he then was, in an article entitled
"Police Accountability to the Executive and Parliament".17
- In commenting on the Blackburn dictum in a later case, the House
of Lords in England said this about the duties of the Chiefs of Police:
That duty may be enforced by mandamus, at the instance of one having
title to sue. But as that case shows, a Chief Officer of Police has a wide
discretion as to the manner in which the duty is discharged. It is for him to
decide how available resources should be deployed, whether particular lines of
inquiry should or should not be followed and even whether or not certain crimes
should be prosecuted. It is only if his decision upon such matters as such as no
reasonable officer of Police would arrive at that someone with an interest to do
so may be in a position to have recourse to judicial review. So the common law,
while laying upon Chief Officers of Police an obligation to enforce the law,
makes no specific requirements as to the manner in which the obligation is to be
discharged. That is not a situation where there can readily be inferred an
intention of the common law to create a duty towards individual members of the
- Thus in that case it was decided that tort proceedings could not be
brought regarding the conduct of investigations into crimes which may have
prevented the murder of the plaintiff's daughter.
- Justice Roma Mitchell was appointed a Royal Commissioner in relation to the dismissal of a Police Commissioner in Australia. In the course of her report she made this observation about the Commissioner of Police:
The Commissioner of Police occupies a peculiar position in the sphere of Executive Government. He is not and cannot be independent of the Government as the Judges are and must be under our system ... The Commissioner of Police, however, controls the major law enforcement agency on behalf of the Government. But he is not to regard himself as the law-maker. Only Parliament within its constitutional limits, occupies that position. And the Ministers are collectively and individually responsible to Parliament for the administration of the executive arm of Government, of which the Police Force is an important part. A Police force not subject to Government control would have dangerous power. The Government is subject to election, the Police Force is not. So that, although the Commissioner of Police should not be subject to Ministerial interference in the day-to-day process of law enforcement, it is essential that he co-operate with the Chief Secretary who has the Police Force within his portfolio.19
- Professor Orr carried out a study for the Strategos Review of the Police
which was completed in 1989. His conclusions were:
(1) that no Minister of Police should attempt to influence the Commissioner
of Police in respect of the enforcement of the law in particular cases. The
weight of opinion of constitutional lawyers and legal authorities supports this
(2)that in matters of administration, in the allocation of financial resources and in general law enforcement policies the Commissioner of Police is responsible to the Minister and is obliged to implement Ministerial directions relating to them. Such a conclusion cannot be impugned on any constitutional ground as the Canadian and Australian experience demonstrates.
In practice, one would expect there would be full consultation between the Minister and the Commissioner, each giving careful consideration to the views of the other. It may be, given the sensitivity of policing, that a provision along the lines of section 13(2) of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 could be enacted. This requires Ministerial directions with respect to general policy to be given in writing after consultation with the Commissioner. While as a matter of law, I do not consider such a provision necessary, it may serve to reassure successive Ministers of Police. No one can seriously argue, the Blackburn
case notwithstanding, that such a provision would be unconstitutional. In my view it would serve only to confirm, but with an additional safeguard the present position in New Zealand.
- In 1993 the subject of the constitutional relationship between the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Police was the subject of a formal opinion by the New Zealand Solicitor-General. The opinion is of critical importance in determining, for the whole of the New Zealand Government, the manner in which the law applies. As such, it deserves to be quoted in full:
8 March 1993
Minister of Police
Minister for State Services
Constitutional Relationship Between Commissioner of Police and the
Minister of Police
1. The relationship between the Minister of Police and the Commissioner of
Police with respect to the power of the former to give binding directions to the
latter raises the issue of the extent of the independence of the Police. For
many years it has been accepted that 'operational' decisions made by the
Commissioner are for that person and no other. Administrative matters may to a
greater or lesser extent properly be the subject of such directions.
2. Whatever the constitutional arguments might be for asserting that the
Minister or Ministers collectively through Cabinet may exercise a power of
binding decision making in respect at least of administrative and policy matters
the position in New Zealand appears to be:
(1) The Commissioner is an independent statutory officer acting with original
not Ministerially delegated authority in respect of law enforcement decisions in
a particular case. The Commissioner cannot lawfully be made subject to
ministerial directions in this regard and is bound only by the duty to act
lawfully himself in exercising his powers.
(2)The Commissioner thus may not be subject to binding policy-directions in
respect of the enforcement of the criminal law in any particular area or type of
offending. It is entirely a matter for the Commissioner to direct a law
enforcement strategy in respect of types or places of crime.
(3)It is not of course open to the Commissioner to refuse to enforce the
criminal law or any aspect but the Commissioner has a wide discretion on the
chosen manner of enforcement in a particular instance.
This principle was expressed recently by the House of Lords as follows:
"By common law Police Officers owe to the general public a duty to enforce
the criminal law: See R v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Ex parte
Blackburn  2 QB 1189. That duty may be enforced by mandamus, at the
instance of one having title to sue. But as that case shows, a chief officer of
Police has a wide discretion as to the manner in which the duty is discharged.
It is for him to decide how available resources should be deployed, whether
particular lines of enquiry should or should not be followed and even whether or
not certain crimes should be prosecuted." (Hill v Chief Constable of West
Yorkshire  1 AC 53,56).
While in this area Ministers have a legitimate interest in ensuring the
Commissioner acts according to law questions usually arise in litigation between
the Police and citizens.
(4)Decisions on what law enforcement resources are to be deployed in
particular cases and general reasonable policy directions are to be made in
classes of cases accordingly are for the Commissioner alone. However the
Commissioner is otherwise subject to Ministerial decision-making in relation to
resources. It would be proper for example for Ministers to impose directions as
to staff ceiling for general economic purposes.
(5)Regulation 7 of the Police Regulations 1959 provides in essence that the
Commissioner is responsible to the Minister for the general administration and
control of the Police and shall cause all members of the Police to discharge
their duties to the Government and the public satisfactorily and efficiently.
That does not however in my opinion make him subject to directions in matters
affecting his law enforcement functions.
(6)There is undoubtedly room for the Minister of Police to require
consultation with the Commissioner in respect of operational requirements; and
allocate targeted resources for a Police enforcement programme (eg Springbok
Tour 1981, Rainbow Warrior enquiry).
3. The constitutional position of the Minister of Police in relation to the
Commissioner is that:
(7)The Minister may not direct the Commissioner in the latter's duty to
enforce the criminal law either in particular cases or classes of case.
(8)The Minister may however impose binding requirements in respect of
matters of administration not directly affecting the Commissioner's duty to
enforce the criminal law (eg imposing staff ceilings, approving spending
proposals in non law enforcement functions, etc).
In between those clear cases convention and practice continue to ensure the
ultimate autonomy of the Commissioner within the area of criminal law
enforcement subject to the consultative processes instanced in 2(f) above;
including a power to allocate targeted funds.
Signed: J J McGrath
The Split of Policy and Operations
- It should be remembered that the claim of constitutional independence is
only made for Police operations. But one difficulty in applying the notion in a
modern context is in trying to separate out Police operations from
administration or administration policy. In relation to this debate, no serious
claim has been made that chief officers of Police are free from political
accountability for Police administration. The problem has been how to define and
overcome the grey area in the policy/operation divide.
- Examples of this grey area are legionary and focus on the
interconnection between Police resources, administration and front-end service.
In a bureaucratic Police organisation as all modern forces are, the very
organisational and management framework is designed to achieve predictable
outcomes. Alteration of one element will soon have impacts elsewhere. Thus
Ministerial direction on what may appear as a purely administrative issue can
soon be seen to have direct impacts in Police operations.
- For example, while the operation of the purchase agreement allows for
Ministerial direction in the aggregate, the cause and effect can be illustrated
- A Minister requires an immediate cut in the costs of computer processing.
The impact is that special investigative teams reliant on processing lessen
their capability. The result is less prosecutions.
- A Minister requires greater Police time to be spent on pursuing gun licence
holders who have failed to renew their licences under new arrangements. The
Police turn resources towards that objective.
- A Minister requires a drastic cut in communication technology spending.
Personal radios and cellphones are withdrawn. Police managers, for occupational
health and safety reasons, order staff to patrol in pairs. The result is less
operational coverage by patrol staff.
- A Minister requires an immediate cut in the costs of computer processing.
- The essential point is that the policy and operations split is murky and
that the cause and effect relationships in policing regularly transcend the
divide. Police adoption of the purchasing framework has helped to pressurise the
boundary. But in effect the impacts of accepting Ministerial direction by means
of the purchase agreement have been mitigated by several factors, amongst them:
(1) the aggregate nature of the agreement;
(2)the ability of the Commissioner to negotiate outcomes and vitiate
perverse impacts; and
(3)the ability of the Commissioner to renegotiate outcomes during the
purchase period to head off such impacts.
- This creates immediate difficulties in implementing new governance
arrangements that try to separate out the purely policy from the purely
operational. In policing, the two are inextricably mixed. This has significant
impacts on political debate over law and order issues. Whereas most public
sector reform has tried to focus debate about operational performance on the
domain of the CEO as opposed to the Minister, in policing, this is difficult to
sheet home. Deployment of Police resources in the current governance regime is a
matter purely for the Commissioner but the consequences of those decisions,
good, bad or indifferent are often felt by the Minister. This raises regular
debate about perceived Police deficiencies directly to the ministerial level in
an area in which the Minister has little immediate control.
- The precise nature of accountability for the Commissioner is also an
issue of importance. In this debate, control is the ability of the Minister to
direct the Commissioner, whilst accountability requires the Commissioner to
explain his decisions after they are made. Constabular independence requires an
acute level of explanatory accountability of the Commissioner, but preserves for
the Commissioner relative freedom from political control. Even in areas where
the Commissioner is undoubtedly subject to direction - such as the provision of
resources, the requirement to achieve agreed targets, and the requirement for
administrative and financial performance - the accountability mechanisms are not
as stringent as those operating elsewhere in the State sector. This is due at
least in part to the image, perhaps the facade, fostered by the notion of
- The freedom from political control has utility for Ministers as well.
Police cases are rarely free from controversy and it is important for government
to be independent of law enforcement cases. It makes constitutional sense for
Ministers to be unfettered from direct accountability for day to day policing
enforcement and resource decisions by Police lest they be accused of undue
pressure on the Commissioner. Increased political control by the Minister
without accompanying management power would be an untenable position of
- Police have argued previously that these constitutional problems are
best dealt with by a strategy of what might be termed passive involvement.
Whereas the Police Act and the State Sector Act have collectively excluded
Police from some structural accountability provisions, the Commissioner has
played a full part in the State's accountability structures. Memoranda of
Understanding and purchase agreements are in place. The Commissioner is subject
to the provision of the Public Finance Act and additional accountability
structures such as the Police Complaints Authority, the Auditor General and
review by the Justice and Law Reform Committee of Parliament. These would seem
to add up to a reasonable accountability structure. It might well be argued that
Commissioners of the day in New Zealand, rather like their British counterparts,
take their public accountability structures seriously for the very reason that
they are a safeguard against unbridled power not only for the State, but for the
Commissioner him or her self.
- This leads on to the constitutional difficulty of augmenting the
Commissioner with positions that have anything other than advisory
accountabilities. There would appear to be real difficulties in countenancing
control requirements over the position. If an office were created which had
operational control over the Commissioner then the de facto power of the
Commissioner would shift to that position. This would be acceptable if the
Constabular independence and political independence also shifted, but there
would be severe political and constitutional risk if the appointment were made
for any but the most transparent reasons.
- Whilst this might solve present problems, the solution does nothing for
the problem of the policy/operational divide. The new CEO would still encounter
the real problems of trying to secure an administrative mandate whilst providing
operational independence for the Commissioner. An additional set of problems
surround the potential relationship between the new position and the staff under
his or her control. Whilst the Police Act could easily confirm all the rights of
an employer on the new position holder, as it currently does on the
Commissioner, the notion of Constabular independence would still apply between
the new chief and his or her staff. Whilst these arrangements might have the
utility of creating an internal as opposed to external performance tension
between the CEO and the Commissioner, it is difficult to see such arrangements
increasing accountability. Indeed it may well be argued that an additional
manager over the Commissioner amounts to quite the reverse as principal
accountabilities ratchet one position higher.
- These problems would be heightened by a Police Commission, which had
full control over the Commissioner. This would produce decreased accountability
as sworn Police would seem to be taking their instructions from external office
holders who would be perceived to have full control of Police operations. The
danger in this model is the perception of political interference over Police
decision-making and the surrendering by sworn Police of political independence
and accountability. It would be hard for instance to defend notions of
Constabular independence in such an arrangement when the cost of non-compliance
by the Commissioner with a Commission could be removal now or later from office.
B>VI THE CONNECTION OF THE POLICE TO GOVERNMENT OBJECTIVES
- This paper has stressed the independence that the Police enjoy in
carrying out a number of their functions. That does not mean, however, that
there are not close and direct linkages between the broad objectives of the
Government, its provision of funding and the delivery of services by the Police.
The purpose of this section is to try and summarise those linkages.
- The first is the Purchase Agreement. Police receive Appropriations from
Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989.
Within this framework the Minister of Police and the Minister of Transport
purchase a range of services provided by the Police. The mechanism for achieving
this is the Purchase Agreement. Purchase Agreements between Ministers and
Departments specify individual outputs in terms and conditions similar to
private sector contracts. The output specifications give specific requirements
as to what goods and services will be provided. They also contain information
for measuring the Department's and the Chief Executive's performance. In the
case of the Agreement between the Minister of Police and the Commissioner of
Police, the Minister's right to impose binding requirements in respect of
matters of administration is subject to the limitation that these shall not
directly affect the Commissioner's duty to enforce the law. Nothing in this
Agreement affects the constitutional relationship in law between the
Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Police.
- A general policy of the Government is specification by the Government of
strategic result areas and, from an organisational point of view, key result
areas. These policies apply to the Police as to other agencies of the
Government. In the strategic result areas, the Police are obliged in terms of
the policy to ensure the most effective and efficient delivery of policing
services, within the wider range of the Government's strategic planning
framework. The strategic framework itself has a critical influence in delivering
focus to the financial management and service delivery within the Police.
- While the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is responsible for
co-ordinating Government's longer term policy goals and objectives, within the
strategic result areas the Police have a particular interest in the following
- Strong economic growth
- Safer communities
- Treaty of Waitangi.
- The strategic result areas are given meaning by Departments through the
production of a set of key result areas ("KRAs") in consultation with the
Minister. KRAs are selected issues on which the Department is expected to focus
over the coming year. In the year 1998-99 the set of KRAs for the Police are as
- Targeting of gangs and organised crime, youth at risk, family violence, house burglary, motor vehicle crime, street violence and disorder and alcohol as the aggravator.
- Building into agency and community partnerships.
- Improving quality customer service.
- Reducing road trauma.
- Developing and implementing Policing 2000.
- Addressing issues of Maori offending and victimisation.
- The Police have also developed, in consultation with the Government and the community, nine objectives they aim to achieve and against which their performance can be measured. These are:
- To reduce crime
- To reduce the fear of crime
- To reduce road trauma
- To reduce disorder in our communities
- To reduce the impacts of emergencies and disasters
- To increase public trust in the Police
- To increase public confidence in Police capability
- To improve the capability of the community for self-protection
- To improve the way we manage our people and resources.
- There is also the technique of Memoranda of Understanding. The development of KRAs takes place within the wider public sector, within a performance agreement framework co-ordinated and administered by the State Services Commission, under the framework of the State Sector Act. The Police have developed this method of reporting to the Minister of Police through a Memorandum of Understanding. Memoranda are monitored by the State Services Commission which also provides feedback to the Commissioner upon performance.
- It is recognised that Police operations can impact across a wide range
of both public and private service providers. A Memorandum of Understanding has
been developed with the Minister of Transport for the delivery and performance
of matters relating to road safety and traffic offences. There is also a
Memorandum of Understanding with the Alzheimer's Society of New Zealand for
dealing with persons suffering from Alzheimer's or related dementia.
- There is also a system of financial accountability that applies to the
Police under the Public Finance Act 1989. The Commissioner of Police is
responsible to the Minister for financial management and financial performance
in terms of Regulation 3 of the Police Regulations 1992. The Commissioner is
required under the Public Finance Act to comply with any lawful financial
actions required either by the Minister of Police or the Minister of Finance.
- The Public Finance Act treats all instruments of Government alike, and
the Police are in a similar position to Departments of the Public Service in
this regard. Requirements include:
- Annual financial reporting - section 39;
- Compliance with Treasury instructions - section 80;
- Meeting Treasury requests for financial information - section 79;
- Forwarding a copy of the financial statement to the Audit Office - section
- A financial statement and the Commissioner's financial management of performance is subject to annual Audit Office opinion - section 38.
- In addition to the statutory requirements, there is an annual process
between the Treasury and the Commissioner that focusses on financial
performance. Treasury expectations in respect of the Police are identified at
the beginning of the year and the Commissioner is provided with a report at the
end of the year as to how these expectations were met. The process, however,
does not involve the Minister.
VII THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
- The Commissioner of Police along with the Solicitor General, the
Controller and Auditor General and the State Services Commissioner are
recognised as occupying a distinct constitutional position in the state sector
(as recognised in section 44 of the State Sector Act). Each is vested with an
independence that is inherent in their office and this impacts on their
relationship with the Government and with Ministers. In the Commissioner's case
there are two underlying reasons for this. Firstly, the imperative in a
democracy to have and maintain a separation of power between elected
representatives and the Police. Secondly, the Commissioner holds and is head of
a body of people holding the office of constable, an office which is recognised
as having inherent characteristics of independence in its relationship with the
- The extent of that independence has never been defined with precision,
but it can be loosely described as being free from Ministerial or governmental
direction on law enforcement or operational matters. The opinion of the
Solicitor-General reproduced earlier remains the best available summary of the
position though it needs now to be considered in the light of the accountability
mechanisms that have developed following the changes brought about by the State
Sector Act and the Public Finance Act.
- The Commissioner has always been answerable to the Minister for the
general administration and control of the Police and also for the financial
management and performance of the Police. Those broad accountabilities have been
enhanced through an annual Purchase Agreement between the Minister and the
Commissioner and through a Memorandum of Understanding between firstly, the
Minister of Police and the Commissioner and secondly, the Minister of Transport
and the Commissioner. The commitment of the Commissioner of Police to the
Government's justice sector strategy is secured through this process. Through
the Purchase Agreement the Minister specifies:
the types of Police service that are to be undertaken or purchased
the quality standards and the quantity of those services that are to be
the accountability of the Commissioner for delivering those services.
- In essence this determines what and how much of a particular policing
service is to be delivered. How those services are to be delivered and how
resources are to be deployed to deliver them is a matter for the Commissioner to
determine. In this regard paragraph 2(d) of the Solicitor General's opinion
remains a correct statement of the position though in a much more structured
- The Memorandum of Understanding and the Purchase Agreement provide the
purpose and direction for the delivery of Police services, together with the
specified quantity and quality. The Commissioner is accountable for the delivery
of those services, but is free to apply the resources available to best achieve
the desired results.
- The direction provided by the Memorandum of Understanding and the
Purchase Agreement have been constructed so as to not encroach upon the
independence of the Commissioner with respect to operational law enforcement, as
those documents leave deployment decisions and operational policies to the
Commissioner. That approach facilitates the Commissioner's accountability to
achieve results. Whilst these documents provide clear direction to the
Commissioner as to the expectations of the Minister, they are not so
prescriptive in terms of specifying how the activity is to be carried out that
the operational independence of the Commissioner could become impugned.
- A coherent approach to the Commissioner's independent constitutional
role is required before issues of accountability and governance can be finally
addressed. The balance to be struck is between accountability and independence.
While no satisfactory definitive statement expressing this independence is
available, a number of components can be identified:
(1) the "original" authority of every constable with respect to the exercise
of the authorities and powers of office;
(2)the ability to make decisions with respect to law enforcement in
individual cases (e.g. the discretion to prosecute);
(3)decisions with respect to those "duties" of the Police that have been
recognised by the common law:
the duty to preserve order and the public peace: (Burton v Power  NZLR
the duty to protect life and property: (Police v Amos  2 NZLR 564,
the duty to prevent crime and to detect and bring offenders to justice:
(Police v Amos);
the duty to control traffic on public roads: (Johnson v Phillips  3 All
the duty to act where there is reasonable apprehension a breach of the peace
will occur: (Police v Peek  2 NZLR 595; Police v Newnham  I NZLR
844; Minto v McKay (1987) 2 CRNZ 330).
(4)areas that by convention (if not common law) have been left to the
Commissioner (e.g. the deployment of resources).
- Nevertheless an approach such as this still does not provide finite
guidance as to the whereabouts of the split between those policy matters which
might be considered to be matters for Ministerial direction and operational
matters for which the Commissioner is solely responsible. The Wood Royal
Commission in New South Wales considered this issue and recommended statutory
definition be attempted and a means prescribed to resolve any overlap (see paras
3.25 - 3.29 attached as Appendix A). This recommendation is still receiving
- In the present context, it may be that statutory definition except in
the broadest of terms should not be attempted, but the various accountability
mechanisms could be constructed so as to clearly and firmly preserve the
independence in respect of the matters listed above. These could be prefaced by
a statement of the role or purpose of the Police. An example of this is provided
in draft legislation under discussion in South Australia where the purpose of
the Police "is to reassure and protect the community in relation to crime and
disorder by the provision of services to:
uphold the law
preserve the peace
assist the public in emergency situations
co-ordinate and manage response to emergencies
regulate road use and prevent collisions".
- A list of specific matters for which the Commissioner is responsible
together with a provision defining the type of matter which may be the subject
of Ministerial direction along the lines that have been developed in Queensland,
would have the virtue of adding clarity and transparency to a situation that
will otherwise remain somewhat opaque and misunderstood. The relevant Queensland
law is set out in Appendix B.
VIII SHOULD THE POLICE ACT BE LINED UP WITH THE STATE SECTOR ACT?
- It is worth seriously considering whether the accountability provisions
of the State Sector Act should be applied to the Police Act in order to improve
the governance arrangements.
- A comparison of the main provisions of the State Sector Act with the
Police Act is attached as Appendix C.
- In a number of areas the State Sector Act is more specific in key
accountabilities and responsibilities of the State Services Commissioner and
State Sector chief executives generally, than the Police Act is in respect of
the Commissioner of Police. Despite a number of amendments, the Police Act does
not fully reflect the accountability changes of the 1980s and 1990s contained in
the State Sector Act and the Public Finance Act, even taking account of issues
about Constabular independence.
- For instance, under section 3(1) of the Police Act the Commissioner of
Police is responsible for the "general control of the Police". That is the only
express reference to the Commissioner's principal responsibilities. On the other
hand, section 32 of the State Sector Act provides that State sector chief
executives are responsible to their relevant Minister for carrying out the
functions and duties of their Department; tending advice; general conduct; and
the efficient, effective and economical management of activities by that
- The State Sector Act deals with key matters relating to the State
Services Commissioner, the administration of the State Services Commission and
of "Departments" and the "Public Service". The Police have never been part of
the public service, though as an instrument of the Crown, they are part of the
State sector. Accordingly, some parts of the State Sector Act apply to the
Police, but others do not.
- The State Sector Act and the Police Act respectively refer to the
functions of the State Services Commissioner and Commissioner of Police as chief
executives, but the State Sector Act does so with more specificity, providing
explicit guidance on the parameters of the State Services Commissioner's
functions. In addition, there is specific reference in the State Sector Act to
the "independence" of the State Services Commissioner, an area not dealt with in
the Police Act for the Commissioner of Police.
Potential Accountability Enhancement Areas
- There are a number of areas where there is variation between the express
accountability requirements of the State Sector Act and those contained in the
Police Act, which could be considered with a view to enhancing the
accountability of the Commissioner of Police. Doing so would bring that area
more in line with the accountability of other State sector chief executives.
- There is an argument that such a result could be achieved at least in
part through the combination of sections 11(4) and 6(b) and (c) of the State
Sector Act. This possibility has not previously been raised and it is desirable
that the issues are dealt with directly rather than indirectly.
- Five areas are considered:
(1)Appointment of the Commissioner of Police
The reference in the State Sector Act to the selection of the State Services
Commissioner is similar to that for the Commissioner of Police under the Police
Act, with no specific criteria being laid down in either. Despite this, the
State Sector Act specifies the appointment process for selecting other State
Sector chief executives. This includes how they are to be appointed (including
the use of specific persons on a selection panel), the factors to be considered,
and a provision for an expression of Ministerial views.
Each of these matters requires careful analysis to ensure that proposed
changes protect Constabular independence, and remove or minimise the possibility
of appointments being politicised. This is a requirement no matter what
appointment model is applied.
(2)Tenure of the Police Commissioner
The Commissioner of Police retains his or her position "during the pleasure
of the Governor-General" (section 3(1) Police Act). Despite this, recent
Commissioners of Police have entered into agreements consistent with the
provisions of the State Sector Act which define the tenure of State sector chief
executives as being for 5 years, with the ability to reappoint after that time
(see section 36 and 38). The latter approach is applied specifically to the
State Services Commissioner (section 13).
To increase the transparency of the process, express provision could be made
in legislation about the appointment and tenure of the Commissioner of Police
and the Deputy Commissioners.
(3) Removal of the Commissioner of Police
Different procedures apply for removing the State Services Commissioner and
other State sector chief executives. The State Services Commissioner can only be
removed for "misbehaviour or incompetence" through the Governor-General with the
approval of the House (section 16). Other State sector chief executives may be
removed "for just cause or excuse" by the Governor-General by order in Council
Subject to individual contract arrangements, the Commissioner of Police holds
office "during the pleasure of the Governor-General" (section 3(1) of the Police
Act). The Police Act does not specify how the Commissioner could be removed from
office. One option is to make specific reference to criteria for removing the
Commissioner, by whom, and the way that should occur (for instance, by following
the process set down in the State Sector Act for removing the State Services
Similar provisions could apply to the Deputy Commissioners of Police.
(4)Performance Review of the Commissioner of Police
The State Sector Act requires the performance of State sector Chief
Executives to be reviewed and reported on by the State Services Commissioner to
the appropriate Minister (see section 43). There are no similar requirements
applicable to the Commissioner of Police either under the State Sector Act or
the Police Act.
Although the Commissioner of Police enters into a Memorandum of Understanding
with the Minister of Police for each year, there is no specified, routine
mechanism for his or her performance to be reviewed and reported under that
Memorandum, let alone by independent means such as through the State Services
Commissioner. Review undertaken through the Office of the Controller and Auditor
General serve in only a limited way in this regard. So long as there was
appropriate protection for the Commissioner in the context of constitutional
independence, there seems to be no reason why a formalised performance review
process could not be put in place. In doing so, the Minister of Police, as the
responsible Minister, would be better able to monitor the Commissioner's
performance and that of the Police generally. The Commissioner could be seen to
be accountable for performance in a more informed, structured manner, and there
would be greater transparency in the process.
(5) Power to report
The State Services Commissioner is required under section 19 of the State Sector Act to report to the State Services Minister annually specifically on his or her operations for the year and on such other matters affecting the State Services as the State Services Commissioner thinks fit. This is in addition to the requirement under section 30 of the Act for the State Services Commission to furnish an Annual Report. The two reports can be combined (section 20).
While the Police are required to furnish an Annual Report under section 65 of the Police Act, no provisions similar to section 19 of the State Sector Act apply to the Commissioner of Police. Arguably the Commissioner of Police could furnish a report on operational components of Police activities which are separate to the other more administrative requirements of the Annual Report process. For instance, it could report on issues relating to any Ministerial directions (were those instituted) on specific issues. It could also cover current mandatory reporting requirements such as drugs seizures, the use of interception devices, and the taking of blood samples for DNA purposes.
IX OPTIONS FOR GOVERNANCE
- The purpose of this paper has been to analyse the constitutional
position of the Police to ensure that the values implicit and explicit in those
arrangements are not compromised by changes to improve administration and
governance, with particular emphasis on the use of resources. It seems evident
that quite a number of changes could be made to the existing arrangements, and
they would be changes of a significant character, without imperilling in any way
the constitutional independence of the Police in relation to some of their
- Other sections of this paper have already indicated changes that could
be made in the Police Act that would assist with accountabilities in a number of
areas, particularly if the opportunity were taken to line up the Police Act more
closely with the provisions of the State Sector Act 1988. There are also changes
to the position of Commissioner which have been outlined, which have
significance in regard to governance.
- The options for governance can perhaps best be discussed in the context
of various models. As has already been outlined, the State Sector model is very
appropriate since the Police are part of the State Sector. In a number of
respects the present accountabilities of the Commissioner can be strengthened
and clarified to bring them into line more with those of other Chief Executives
in the State sector. There is no doubt this can be achieved without compromising
the constitutional independence of the Commissioner. For example, the Department
of Inland Revenue operates within the core State sector, but Ministerial
capacity to interfere with tax assessments and decisions, including decisions to
prosecute for revenue offences, are not matters over which the Minister has any
- Thus, there are a number of steps that can be taken to enhance the
accountabilities of the Commissioner and the Police generally without adversely
affecting the established constitutional principles which need to be maintained.
- The State sector model could be used to provide the following
enhancements for accountability:
- Clarification of the appointment process for the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner dealing with issues of tenure and removal;
- Application of the State Service Commissioner's performance review function to the Police and the Commissioner;
- In respect to financial performance, the existing relationship process between the Treasurer and the Commissioner could be extended to require an end of year report on performance to be provided to the Minister;
- A better definition of the relationship between the Minister and the Commissioner that will allow transparency and could be enshrined in statute;
- A statutory description of the role or purpose of the Police;
- A statutory definition of the obligations and duties of the Commissioner which are now contained in the Police Regulations 1992 (Regulation 3);
- A statutory definition of the functions of the Commissioner;
- A statutory recognition of the authority of the Commissioner to issue directions with respect to specific matters;
- A statutory provision for a Performance Agreement between the Commissioner and the Minister; and
- A statutory provision for a Purchase Agreement between the Commissioner and
- There are considerable advantages in this approach. The approach will maintain the direct accountability of the Commissioner to the Minister which, in our view, is also constitutionally as important as maintenance of the areas where the Police have independence. Such an approach also enhances the present arrangements by lining them up more deliberately with the established State sector model. It also includes better mechanisms to secure both accountability and performance.
- The disadvantage of the approach is that it does not resolve the
question of where the policy line stops and the operational line starts. There
will continue to be some vagueness surrounding the notion of Constabular
independence. Nonetheless, the Solicitor-General's opinion will still be helpful
in that regard.
- A further weakness may be that there is insufficient bite in the
financial management and financial accountabilities in relation to the Police.
Such a position would be based on the view that for some reason the Police will
be financially and managerially less able to comply with economical methods of
administration than other branches of government. There would not appear to be
any inherent reason why this should be so.
- The second option that could be considered would be a more commercial
approach to policing whereby the Commissioner had an advisory board of
commercial people who would be able to provide advice, both to the Minister and
to the Commissioner. A model for these arrangements is to be found in the Police
Board of Victoria.20
- The Police Board of Victoria is established by statute to advise the
Minister for Police and the Commissioner of Police on ways in which the
administration of the Victoria Police might be improved. The Board enquires into
the structure, organisation and management policies of the Victoria Police. It
reviews the rules and policies governing recruitment, appointments, promotions,
seniority classifications, training and development.
- The Board does not deal with particular cases, either administrative or
operational. But it does review the processes by which matters are handled and
resolved and advises on the effectiveness of service delivery and the efficiency
of the business processes used in policing.
- The Victorian option brings outside expertise and an external
perspective to the Police but, since it is advisory only, its value is very
limited as an accountability mechanism.
- This brings us to the third model. The third model is an Executive
- The Commissioner presently chairs an Executive of 12 members consisting of the Deputy Commissioner, the Director Marketing and Communications, the Director Information and Technology, a representative from the Women's Consultative Committee and 8 Assistant Commissioners.
- Present arrangements could be enhanced by the establishment of an Executive Board consisting of the Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner and a number of external appointees.
- The advantages of replacing the present executive structure with such a Board include:
- the Commissioner remains directly accountable to the Minister
- it brings a better business focus to the Executive
- it strengthens governance arrangements through the involvement of people external to the Police
- it provides separation of executive management from district service delivery.
- Disadvantages include:
- such a Board would lack teeth
- the relationship between the Board and the Commissioner would have to be clearly defined to avoid conflict.
- An alternative model would be an Executive Board chaired by an external appointee with the Board and not the Commissioner being accountable to the Minister.
- The advantages of an Executive Board of this type include:
- direct external involvement in the governance of the Police
- it would strengthen internal accountability mechanisms.
- Disadvantages include:
- the Commissioner would no longer be directly accountable to the Minister
- uncertainty with respect to the Commissioner's operational independence in areas where the position is not clear
- potential for conflict between Commissioner and Board.
- The final option for consideration is some of the existing models in the State sector.
- There are several State sector examples of a Ministerially appointed
statutory board which in turn appoints the Chief Executive. One model is the
Fire Service Act where the accountabilities under the Act lie on the
Commissioner. Other examples which operate with part time boards include the
Land Transport Safety Authority (under the Land Transport Act 1993), the
Maritime Safety Authority (Maritime Transport Act 1994) and the Civil Aviation
Authority (Civil Aviation Act 1990). These provide hybrid examples of a
governance structure with the Director in some cases having accountability to
the Minister, but able to act with complete independence in other areas (cf.
s24(4) Land Transport Act; s72 I(4) Civil Aviation Act).
- Advantages of this type of model include:
- strong governance by a body who can focus on performance issues
- accountability is clear and transparent.
- Some of the disadvantages are:
- significant risks of impact on operational independence of Commissioner
- uncertainty as to the role of Commissioner and likelihood of conflict
between the Commissioner and the Board
- creation of another level of accountability
- it simply transfers the accountabilities of the Commissioner to a Board
- this type of model is without precedent in policing elsewhere
- The Ministry model approaches issues of accountability in a different
way. A Ministry option was recommended for the Police as part of the Resource
Management Review in 1989.21
- That review did not analyse in any detail the distinction between
policy and operational decision making, which may have been seen as workable
only if a narrow view were taken of either what constitutes policy issues, or
the nature of Constabular independence.
- The proposal to establish a small Ministry of Police did not find favour at the time.
APPENDIX 2: REVIEW OF PROPERTY
The brief for the review under the heading 'Property Management' was to focus
- The rationale for continuing ownership of property by the Police and the potential for selling property and leasing.
- The location of Police premises relative to public safety risk and the scope for swapping prime sites for alternative locations. The potential financial gains from such an approach will be assessed.
Prior to the review commencing, we advised the Review Team that in order to meet the key requirement to identify opportunities for achieving efficiency savings as early as possible in the 1998/99 financial year without compromising front-line capabilities, we saw the review focusing on:
- capex programme;
- surplus property, both freehold and leasehold;
- capital release opportunities including sale and leaseback;
- resource reconfiguration; and
- opportunities for reducing property operating costs.
As the review progressed it became increasingly apparent that the brief as initially established was premature given a lack of information and reporting systems, no planned property strategy based on a firm understanding of the Police property needs and a decentralised property process with little in the way of performance or accountability measurement. It was our expressed view that the review document should focus on some of these issues rather than the specifics of property disposal overall and highlight some of the areas where there are obvious risks. The original review objectives still stand, but rather the review came from a different direction and has identified issues to be addressed quite specifically post review.
It is also very obvious that a number of projects have been initiated, reports obtained and much valuable information gathered covering many of the matters now traversed but little action has followed. Much of this work is of recent origin and we have not attempted to replicate it.
- The Portfolio
New Zealand Police own a total of 599 freehold properties with a book value of $312,600,000. The bulk of this property is comprised in 14 resource facilities, 2 regional headquarters, 13 district headquarters and 22 area headquarters, having a combined value of $206,000,000. A total of 250 police stations and patrol bases have a book value of $77,000,000. The balance of the owned portfolio comprises housing stock of which "hard to fill" and "market rental" houses total 184 having a book value of approximately $15,300,000.
In addition to the freehold owned portfolio, New Zealand Police lease a total of 166 other property facilities including 26 resource facilities, the Police National Headquarters, 6 regional headquarters, 10 district headquarters and 3 area headquarters. A total of 120 Police stations or operating bases are also leased. Total net rent (before property related operating expenses) is reported as $8,556,500 per annum.
The three most significant leases in terms of annual rental are Transport
House in Kilmour Street, Christchurch, Police National Headquarters, Molesworth
Street, Wellington and Transport House, Cuba Street, Wellington which have a
combined net rental in excess of $3,325,000 with a proportionate share of
building operating expenses payable in addition.
The lease for Transport House, Kilmour Street, Christchurch expires in
September 1998. It is understood that Police intend to "walk away" from their
lease leaving some residual make good requirements.
The main Molesworth Street, Wellington lease expires in the year 2000 along
with that for Transport House, Wellington. The lease of one floor of Police
National Headquarters extends to 2001. These lease expiries offer significant
opportunity for rationalisation and cost reduction.
There are at least 16 other lease commitments with an annual base rental
before property operating expenses exceeding $100,000.
- Property Management
The National Property Office located within Police National Headquarters reports to the Finance and Asset Manager. The position of National Property Manager is currently vacant with assistance being provided on an as required basis by a property consultant.
Whilst National Property Office is intended to have a controlling role in capital projects having a value in excess of $2,000,000, in reality the property functions have been devolved to regional level with National Property Office in practice having little more than an advisory role.
Regional control of property is to a large extent autonomous with 'ownership' of property assets vesting in the regional command.
As a result of the regional management structure there is no standard property management system or record that would facilitate rationale, consistent and nationally directed property decisions. In turn, this leads to a lack of performance measurement and benchmarking for property assets with no consistency of asset or service procurement.
There is no strategic plan for property. Property cannot be aligned with operations in a co-ordinated sense at a national level.
There are documented instances where property procurement processes and lack of adequate capital works evaluation have led to over capitalisation and poorly executed projects which reflect a short term needs assessment not tied into other Police initiatives such as 'Policing 2000' nor reflecting other initiatives and changes in policing such as the impact of INCIS.
Very little opportunity appears to have been taken to achieve global (national) efficiencies. National Property Office has no service level agreements with regions.
The lack of an adequate property management and information system was highlighted by the difficulties in obtaining co-ordinated property information for the purposes of this review.
Previous attempts to bring property records and property performance data together in a property management system have been frustrated by seeking to produce a fully integrated management information and financial accounting system for property. Currently, records are held at regional level in different formats and with no ability for management to take a view of performance of property assets and utilisation.
3.2 Capital Management
A User Guide for capital management was commissioned but to the extent that it has relevance to property, it is of little assistance given the absence of a strategic property plan that recognises and takes as its focus the needs of policing into the future. Much current property initiative seems to be driven by a short term needs assessment, not reflecting the changing face of policing and allowing for flexibility for those changes to be accommodated.
- Housing Occupation
Outside of "tied" or station houses there is a large proportion of the housing stock designated "hard to fill" or "market rent". There are reported anomalies in the allocation of "hard to fill" houses where one officer in a location may occupy under this discounted ($50 per week) arrangement whilst a number of others in the same location do not. Housing provision is not an appropriate format with which to deal with relative remuneration if that is the intention in such circumstances. It is however accepted that houses in many locations are necessary to ensure staffing in those locations. Provision of Police housing is not based on a market rental charge regime.
- Property Maintenance / Depreciation
Much of the housing stock is reported to be in poor to average condition.
Opus Consultants conducted a survey and have reported deferred maintenance on stations alone of $2,400,000.
Little is being spent on property maintenance given other priorities for capital funding (information and technology, etc.) and with expenditure earmarked for maintenance being diverted for operational requirements or maintenance expenditure simply under allocated in the first instance.
The current depreciation regime of a flat 1% for structure and 5% for fitout is allowing for depreciation funding at a rate of even less than that which would apply at Inland Revenue Department published depreciation rates.
It is imperative there be a national structure for provision of Police
property services. Ownership of all property should vest in a Property Service
Organisation reporting to the Finance & Asset Manager.
This organisation which would be the Police "landlord", providing property
occupation and facilities management by way of service agreements with District
Managers. A "capital charge" regime will apply to ensure that any notion of
Police property being a "free good" is negated.
The Property Service Organisation will have as its initial priority the
establishment of a national Police property strategy appropriate to the new
organisation and directions of policing to be an integral part of the Police
business plan. That strategy will be developed in consultation with the District
Managers and signed off by the Commissioner as the basis for property decision
An evaluative framework for considering viability and priority of capital
works must be developed and implemented to ensure that existing examples of
monumental, extravagant and over specified projects are not repeated and project
delivery is aligned with operational requirements in a rigorous needs assessment
regime. The present Draft Capital Management User Guide does not meet the needs
of Police in respect to property.
A property management and information system will be implemented that enables
reporting of performance against agreed operating protocols including key
performance indicators and appropriate benchmarks.
It is envisaged that the property service organisation will be headed by a
Manager ideally possessing strong strategic property skills and being capable of
producing and implementing property policy that aligns property outcomes with
policing needs based on operational resources and within the overall property
strategy. This position will have a strong focus on improving property
performance and utilisation over time.
It is further envisaged that three additional Property Managers, each
providing property services to an agreed portfolio of districts would be
appointed. Whilst they would probably be located away from Police National
Headquarters and within the geographic boundaries of their portfolio of
districts, they would report to the Manager of the Property Service
It may be appropriate for a further transitional position to be created, or
contract let, to handle the disposal of surplus property assets not allocated
under the process described below and to deal with the disposal of those parts
of the existing Police portfolio determined to be no longer required to be held
in Police ownership.
6.3 Initial Property Occupation Allocation
Police property assets will be initially allocated in terms of occupation and
"capital charge" responsibility on a district by district basis. District
Managers should have a transition period to determine those assets no longer
required for district operations and these would be held in the Property Service
Organisation for disposal by the Transitional Property Manager. Property
allocation and occupation would reflect the intent of the adopted property
6.4 Property Funding
Disposal of a significant proportion of the "hard to fill" and "market
rental" housing will generate significant funds. It is recommended that a review
of the balance to be retained property be carried out from a maintenance
perspective and all Police property stock brought up to at least a satisfactory
condition including implementation of deferred maintenance recommendations made
by Opus Consultants. Funding for the initial deferred maintenance and immediate
maintenance programme should fall outside of normal operational budgets.
The Property Service Organisation would enter into service agreements with
each district covering:
- compliance; and
- energy purchase.
The Property Service Organisation would be funded against an agreed annual
maintenance programme and for planned preventative maintenance.
Capex funding would be made available only against rigorous needs assessment,
viability and priority testing.
The Property Service Organisation should be expected to test traditional
concepts of Police property and not simply adopting "a building on last time"
Whilst some work has already been undertaken in this area the current
depreciation regime should be critically re-examined to ensure that depreciation
funding reflects appropriate levels having regard to actual property component
6.5 Performance Testing
The Property Service Organisation will be responsible for maintaining the
Property Management and information system and providing performance measurement
reports to District Managers and to the Commission in respect of individual
property, by district and nationally as well as developing benchmarks to
identify performance improvement opportunities as the portfolio evolves under
the new Police structure. Under performing property asset reporting will feature
in needs assessment for new capex projects.
6.6 Sale and Leaseback
The review is required to consider the rationale for continuing Police
ownership and the prospects for capital release from sale of property assets
Approximately 25% of Police premises are already leased with a relatively
small amount of space apparently under utilised. However it is a general
expectation that benchmarking of space utilisation may well lead to a view of
excessive space to personnel ratios in some locations.
The general concepts of leasing versus ownership have been canvassed in prior
reports to Police. Whilst flexibility can be built into leases, inherent in
ownership is the right to modify, amend, extend or replace as needs dictate
(subject to governing authority consent). Lack of control of ultimate ownership
could represent a problem for Police.
If capital release is a primary consideration, non specialised property
leased back to Police would represent saleable investments.
The financial benefits of sale and leaseback can be viewed in the short term
as the difference between the capital charge plus depreciation and the initial
investment yield sought by the intended owner.
Short term cash flow gains achieved from sale and leaseback can be eroded
over time by the rent review process.
Individual sale and leaseback propositions need to be examined on a
discounted cash flow basis over a medium term horizon reflecting the likely cash
realisation against book value in a market-driven rental / yield environment. An
initial analysis of the Victoria Street Wellington property for example
indicates a likely probability of a write down in value on sale. Nevertheless a
sale would represent a significant release of capital (approximately $20
The ability to generate higher returns on released capital does not reflect
the reality of Central Government finance as it may for the private sector.
6.7 Leasehold Tenure
Whilst to external landlords the Crown would remain lessee, the Property Service Organisation would become the "Police lessor" under all leases for Police occupied property and would be responsible for lease administration tied back to service agreements with districts.
It is anticipated that many of the facilities management functions of the
Property Service Organisation could be outsourced. The scope of such outsourced
contracts will need careful consideration to ensure manageability, service
levels and effectiveness whilst ensuring greatest advantage is taken of Police
purchasing power on a national basis.
- 7. Specific Property Initiatives
Whilst undertaking the review a number of issues stood out as material
property matters requiring attention or which offer an opportunity to
rationalise at least part of the portfolio. This is by no means an exhaustive
list of such matters.
7.1 Police National Headquarters Accommodation
Under the revised structure it is likely that Police National Headquarters could be housed in an area of approximately 3,000 square metres with a current total occupancy cost (i.e. rent and operating expenses) of $750,000 per annum for accommodation of at the very least the same quality as the present accommodation which has a total occupancy cost of $2,400,000.
Renewal of the existing lease which expires on 8 April 2000 would result in a considerable surplus of accommodation and an occupation cost in today's terms of around $1,600,000 given the "soft ratchet" rental provision on renewal.
he building requires considerable upgrading of services and it is our understanding that the owner is reluctant to undertake any significant capital expenditure. The ownership structure of the building along with securitisation of the income stream leads to further difficulties associated with possible upgrading.
Imperative in relation to this lease is to establish the accommodation
requirement for the new Police National Headquarters and seek out in the market
place alternatives which meet that requirement within a sufficient time frame to
enable a withdrawal and relocation from the Molesworth Street property (or
re-negotiated lease for the same) in a timely manner.
Previous reports have dealt with possible alternatives, albeit prior to the
current review and possible space downsizing which may result.
Some expenditure may be required under the make good provisions of the lease
The 15th floor lease continues until 30 September 2001. This single floor lease should not represent a reason for non-withdrawal from the total building.
7.2 Transport House, Wellington
This head lease expires on 30 September 2000. One right of renewal for six years is available, however the rental at renewal is set at a minimum by operation of a ratchet clause which would perpetuate the current over market rental level.
Discussion should be initiated with the lessor on an immediate basis to restructure the lease arrangement in respect of only that space which Police require but to allow sufficient time for viable alternatives to be considered if this became appropriate.
184 "hard to fill" and "market rental" houses have a total book value of approximately $15,300,000. It would appear that many of the houses do not qualify as "hard to fill" and accordingly it is strongly recommended that a total review of all of this housing stock be undertaken with a view to dispose of those properties which are not genuinely required to satisfy "hard to fill" policing requirements.
"Operating Assumptions for Structures and Service Delivery" and "Key
Principles" - in relation to organisational structure
- Police will become Outcome rather than Output driven
- The structure must facilitate the Police Strategy. Areas/Groups should promote the partnerships with Territorial Local Authorities and communities of interest
- The Commissioner's Office will support the Ministers, Commissioner and Districts
- The Commissioner's Office is an small as possible - strategy, policy, coordination, advisory and review focussed
- The membership of the Police Executive is still to be determined
- There will be five levels between Constable and Commissioner
- There will be eleven Districts
- District Managers will be accountable for all Police delivery of service in their District
- There is a high level of district autonomy - quasi purchase model. The Commissioner's Office retains central oversight and coordination
- District Managers are supported by specialist support managers eg. HR, Business Resources, Crime, Business Development, Services
- District Managers and Area/Group Managers will be empowered to make resource and deployment decisions
- Responsibility and accountability for results will be at team level, which must be reflected in HR rewards and recognition strategies
- Spans of control to be increased depending on the needs of specific teams
- Authority and accountability is placed with the person who can most affect performance
- Future staff allocations will be based on underlying risks to communities and policing
- Police resources will be matched to a deployment model, not bound by rosters
- Service Level Agreements will facilitate support and coordinated activity, at and between district
- The delivery of administrative functions at District and PNHQ levels will be centralised to Service Centre concepts where appropriate to maximise economies of scale and quality of service. The Commissioner's Office oversees/enforces service delivery agreements
- R & D initiatives will be managed as projects in the field, and mandated by the Executive. Business development capability and direction will be provided from the Commissioner's Office
- Most contract management will be undertaken centrally
- Structures will facilitate options for out-sourcing where appropriate
- Service Centres will group district operational support services under the management of the Deputy Commissioner, Operations and Tactics
- Capable management skills will exist at all levels
The role of the Commissioner's Office is to:
- provide the Minister of Police with policy advice and ministerial services;
- support District Managers with professional and specialist advice;
- provide Districts with specialist/technical service that for reasons of
- support the Commissioner in
national planning and policy
within the wider framework of the Commissioner's
statutory obligations under the Public Finance and State Sector Acts,
Government's expectations as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding with the
Minister of Police and the service delivery and reporting requirements of the
Minister of Transport, and formal and informal agreements with partner agencies.
cost, confidentiality, or management assurance are best located in national
The Commissioner's Office should
- reflect the emphasis on strategic planning, policy, standard setting and review across all functional areas;
- allow for an integrated (team) approach across all areas to improve inter-group communication and avoid duplication of effort and internal competition;
- merge "like with like" to reduce the number of management positions, and
maximise the benefits of available skills and knowledge;
- provide for the transfer of activities and processes that do not need to be performed at head office level to Districts or to service centres that can be accessed directly by Districts;
- provide for the management of service centres;
- facilitate the outsourcing of services, where appropriate, that can be supplied by other agencies;
- make national planning and policy initiatives more accessible to Districts
and more responsive to District needs.
- Waterman, R, Peters t., and Phillips, J., "Structure is Not Organisation", Business : Indiana 1980
- The idea that structure is only one of many factors affecting performance is encapsulated by Waterman op. cit.
- The need for organisations to structure themselves to achieve their strategic objectives is discussed in Robins, P. et al, "Organisational Behaviour: Concepts, Context, Cases and Application", 1994, Prentice Hall, Australia.
- Drucker, P. 1960. "The most common and most serious symptom of malorganisation is multiplication of the number of management levels. A basic rule of any organisation is to build the least possible number of management levels and forge the shortest possible chain of command".
- Neil Cameron, "Developments and Issues in Policing New Zealand" in Policing at the Crossroads (Eds. Neil Cameron and Warren Young, 1986) 10.
- Ibid. 10
- Charles Reith, The Blind Eye of History - A Study of the Origins of the Present Police Era, 154-167 (1952).
- Cathy Buchanan and Peter R Hartley, Controlling Crime in New Zealand, (New Zealand Business Round Table, May 1996).
- In Robert Reiner and Sarah Spencer (eds), Accountable Policing - Effectiveness, Empowerment and Equity (1993) 1.
- Neil Cameron, "Developments and Issues in Policing New Zealand" in Policing at the Crossroads (Eds. Neil Cameron and Warren Young, 1986) 19.
- Ibid. 19
- Section 345(2) of the Crimes Act 1961.
- Report of the New Zealand Police for the Year Ended 30 June 1997, (1997) AJHR G6.
- For example, a number of offences with political implications or implications for New Zealand's international relations require the Attorney-General's consent: hi-jacking; offences overseas by New Zealand diplomats; offences against internationally protected persons; breaches of any of the conventions under the Geneva Conventions Act 1958. A complete list of these provisions is in Appendix F to the Law Commission's Discussion Paper Criminal Prosecution (NZLC pp 28, 1997).
- R v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, ex parte Blackburn  2 QB 118, 135-136.
- Policing at the Crossroads (Eds. Neil Cameron and Warren Young) (1986) 46 at 49.
- Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire  1 AC 53 at 59.
- Justice Roma Mitchell, Report of the Royal Commission on the Dismissal of H H Salisbury, quoted by Orr in Policing at the Crossroads (Eds. Neil Cameron & Warren Young) (1986) 46.
- Police Board of Victoria Annual Report No. 5, for year ended 30 June 1997.
- "Strategos" report pp 50-55.