Hawkins Wastes Police Time and Money

  • Jack Elder

George Hawkins has done more to waste Police time and money this year than any other Member of Parliament, Police Minister Jack Elder said today.

Mr Elder was responding to Mr Hawkins' accusation of a breach of parliamentary privilege, which related to Question for Written Answer 12693. This queried the number of Police fraud squads around New Zealand.

In the reply, it was stated that Wellington did not have a designated fraud squad. In fact, such a squad did exist, Mr Elder said.

Investigations this week revealed an incorrect reply was sent by Police Central Region Headquarters to Police National Headquarters. A corrected reply will be supplied to the Clerk's office.

"It is hardly surprising that the Police have not managed to maintain a 100 percent accuracy rate in answers to this House, considering the huge waste of Police time caused by Mr Hawkins' trivial questions."

Since the election, Mr Hawkins has asked a total of 379 Questions for Written Answer. With an average cost of reply, based on Police timesheets, of $172.11, Mr Hawkins has drained the Police bank account to the tune of around $65,229.69, Mr Elder said.

"Not only does Mr Hawkins waste a large amount of Police money, he squanders valuable Police time," Mr Elder said.

"The work of gathering information to answer Mr Hawkins' barrage of questions frequently has to be done by front-line officers who would otherwise be undertaking active policing duties.

"It wouldn't be so bad if Mr Hawkins ever did anything with the vast amount of information he insists the Police collect for him, but he just sticks it in the cupboard and moves on to ask other inane questions.

"This is an outrageous abuse of the Parliamentary Question system by Mr Hawkins, and it can only be because he wants to tie up scarce Police resources so he can tell them yet again how bad their morale is."