Police are considering charging for some services which
are now free. Police yesterday released the public consultation
paper ''Cost Recovery for Certain Police Services'', which asks
for public feedback on charging for vetting services.
Most services were offered free of charge, the costs covered
by general taxation, but cost recovery could be appropriate
for some services, police strategy, policy and performance
acting general manager Mike Webb said.
While police were not able at present to recover costs under
the Policing Act (2008), vetting services were identified as
a potential revenue earners. The police vetting service
allowed approved organisations to request all information
police held on a specific individual.
High users of the service included the Department of Internal
Affairs, Immigration New Zealand, New Zealand Transport
Agency, Community Services, CYF, New Zealand Teachers Council
and the Ministry of Education.
Commercial organisations included recruitment companies,
retirement homes, health groups, kindergartens and
While some exemptions would be considered, police proposed a
fee of $5-$7 per vetting request for a standard vetting
request, and an estimated $10-$14 for an urgent request. Of a
projected 435,000 vetting requests per annum, police said an
estimated 350,000 could be charged.
New Zealand was one of the few modern police forces that did
not have a cost recovery in place, with United Kingdom,
Canada and Australia all successfully implementing cost
recovery, Mr Webb said.
Labour Party police spokesman Kris Faafoi questioned why the
proposal had been raised.
''Undoubtedly, it's because the National Government has put
our police force under enormous financial pressure and police
top brass are now being forced to look for cuts and revenue
gathering opportunities right across the board."
The public have until March 5 to make a submission on the
proposals, with a recommendation then to go to the