Don't Look To Labour, Says Simich

  • Clem Simich

Labour's refusal to overturn any planned police staffing changes is evidence their concern on justice matters was manufactured, says Police Minister Clem Simich.

Last week Labour leader Helen Clark told the Levin Chronicle it was unlikely they would reverse any police staffing changes if there was a change of government.

"They most likely know the rationale behind the changes is right - but they daren't admit it," Mr Simich said.

"This Government is giving Police greater flexibility to allocate their resources where needed," Mr Simich said. "It's only sensible that senior, local people make decisions about what's needed in their own patch."

"There is a strong rationale behind the entire district restructuring process: to improve service to the public. Whatever changes are made will be to improve policing and to make the frontline more effective. Neither the Commissioner nor I will tolerate anything which erodes service to the public in any way."

Mr Simich said Labour's "concern" was motivated by ignorance about what the staffing changes aimed to achieve.

"They've even revealed their ignorance about how police staff are allocated. The Government has no power whatsoever to influence the way Police staff are distributed among districts - the independence of the Police Commissioner on such matters is actually written in law."

"Labour cannot - and obviously will not - make any difference."