LABOUR PARTY PRESIDENT WELL OFF THE MARK - WILLIAMSON

  • Maurice Williamson
Local Government

Labour Party President and Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey is well off the mark in claiming the Police force should be bulk-funded and brought under the control of Local Authorities, Minister of Local Government Maurice Williamson said today.

"I'm totally opposed to this crazy idea. It's actually been tried in a minor way in the past with some Local Authorities running their own traffic services in the late 1980s.

"But it turned out to be a disaster with major problems such as the crossing of boundaries to administer it. For example, if a speeding car crosses from Auckland to the North Shore, who then chases it?"

Mr Harvey also referred to similar systems being used in other countries such as Australia and the United States.

"These comparisons are irrelevant because some of the cities in the United States and even Australia are bigger than our entire country. As a country of 3.5 million people, we have to run our Police force as a national service."

Mr Williamson also said there was a large degree of co-ordination under the current system.

"For example, I know District Commanders who work very closely with their local authorities, trying to identify local problems through their work with safer community councils. I'm all in favour of this co-ordination, but it happens under the current system."