Southern police face an uncertain couple of months.
Many have to reapply for their jobs and in some cases compete
for positions within a new police district structure, to be
implemented by September 2.
The restructuring of the Southern police district was
mandated by Police National Headquarters.
New Zealand Police Association Southern regional director
Brett Roberts said eight or nine senior sergeants had to
apply for fewer senior sergeant positions, and although there
were some inspector vacancies, not all could be considered
for the higher rank.
The Southern district was a successful district and most
officers just wanted to get on with the good job they were
already doing, but were caught up in the instability, he
''There's going to be less jobs in certain ranks. A lot of
staff have to reapply for either their job or new jobs, and
in some cases there are less positions now than there are
''There are some extra vacancies being advertised but they
are open to all and sundry throughout New Zealand, so there
will be competition for some of those jobs.''
Mr Roberts said it was a ''trying time'' for Southern police,
particularly because a permanent district commander had yet
to be appointed.
Although the acting commander was doing a great job, the
temporary nature of his role added to the instability.
''It's all up in the air. Some people don't know where
they're going to be or what jobs they're going to have.''
He said more restructuring mandated by Police National
Headquarters was likely ''down the track''.
The restructuring was detailed to staff last week following a
two-week consultation period and publicly announced
Acting Southern district commander Inspector Lane Todd said
the new structure retained all existing staff and police
''It does, however, mean some staff will have new titles, new
roles and a shift in focus.''
About 20 of the police district's 637 staff were formally
advised their positions were ''affected'', and a ''very small
number'' of those employees would need to relocate within
their work area, Insp Todd said.
''Almost all remain in the same stations and locations but
will have different roles.''
Four new prevention manager roles have been established - an
area manager in each of the Otago Rural, Dunedin and
Southland police areas and a district prevention manager
based at the Southern police district headquarters in
The change was designed to ''reap the full benefits'' of the
national police prevention first strategy, and to adjust the
Southern district's management structure to make it
consistent with a national structure, Insp Todd said.
Changes involved organising the district's work around three
''key pillars'' - prevention, response and investigations.
It meant Southern police could provide better services to
communities and take advantage of technology to free up more
frontline resources, Insp Todd said.
''This is about working smarter and more effectively. It's
about ensuring we have the right structure in place that
allows our staff to deliver the right services to the right
people in our communities at the right time,'' he said.
The Waitaki policing sub-area will be aligned with the
Dunedin-Clutha area instead of Otago Rural. Insp Todd said
the new structure was designed to support new systems and
processes implemented in the Southern police district under
the national policing excellence programme.
''These [systems and processes] include establishing a
centralised district file management centre in Dunedin in
March, and the roll-out of the crime reporting line last
month. The new structure will also support last month's
roll-out of smart phones and tablets to Southern staff, which
will reduce the need for officers to return to stations and
allow for more operational time on the street,'' he said.