An allegation that several hundred police positions,
including frontline staff, could be moved from the South Island
to the North Island has been dismissed by Police Minister Anne
Tolley as scaremongering.
Recently, Labour MP Kris Faafoi told the Otago Daily Times
200-300 police staff could be relocated in the ''next couple
of years'', according to his sources.
''I have been told if a position becomes vacant in the South
Island, it won't be filled in the South Island. That position
will be sent to the North Island.''
To lose 200-300 staff from the South Island would be a
''serious shift in resources ... we are concerned about the
wider implications of that,'' he said.
It was likely those cuts would come from the ''two big
populaces - Dunedin and Christchurch - so I would say if we
are looking at 200-300 then we are looking at those two
However Ms Tolley said in a statement she had ''been assured
there are no such plans to move staff - and there have been
no discussions with me about such a scenario''.
''This is yet another pathetic attempt by the Labour
spokesman to scaremonger and mislead the public, and he
should apologise to the people of the South Island and to
Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush reiterated there were no
plans to move South Island staff to the North Island.
''What Police is always doing is assessing its resourcing
needs in each police district based on demand. We will go
through this process again next year and there are no
assumptions made about what this will mean.''
If this required a change in resourcing, it would be achieved
through attrition and strategic recruitment, and not movement
of existing staff, he said.
Mr Faafoi said that in 2008, the Government had promised to
ensure a ratio of one police officer to every 500 people, yet
the current South Island ratio was one to 573.
Last month, Southern district commander Superintendent Bob
Burns confirmed 10 non-sworn police jobs would be cut in the
South, with six district support positions from Dunedin,
Invercargill and Central Otago to be transferred to Auckland,
to staff the police national 24-hour telephone reporting
line. New Zealand Police Association Southern district
regional director Detective Sergeant Brett Roberts said the
union ''could only go on what Police National Headquarters
''But we are keeping a close watching brief on what they are