New Police Commissioner Mike Bush has apologised for a
eulogy in which he praised the integrity of retired Detective
Inspector Bruce Hutton last April.
Hutton was found by a Royal Commission of inquiry to have
planted evidence used to convict Arthur Allan Thomas of the
1970 murders of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe.
Yesterday Mr Bush said the eulogy was raised with him during
the selection interviews.
"My response was that the eulogy was given with the best of
intentions, at a private funeral, to a grieving wife,
children and grandchildren. But in hindsight, I can see how
others interpreted that. There was offence caused to others.
I understand that and I actually apologise for any offence
that was caused by a Deputy Commissioner making those
A police review of the case is underway into the Crewe murder
case after a request by the Crewe's daughter, Rochelle Crewe.
Mr Bush has said he would not take any part in that review.
Police Minister Anne Tolley said it was appropriate for him
not to be involved. However, she said the eulogy was one
incident in an otherwise strong career.
"I've told Mike Bush it was a line-call to give the eulogy,
and it is something he regrets. But it is important to see it
in the context of one incident in a highly impressive 35-year
career serving the public.
''Quite simply, Mr Bush is one of our most experienced and
successful officers, he has proven himself both at home and
abroad, and I believe he will be an outstanding
Mr Bush, MNZM, is the current Deputy Commissioner Operations.
He has been appointed to his new role for a three-year term,
commencing on April 3.
As Police Liaison Officer for South East Asia, Mr Bush was
the first New Zealand official to reach Phuket following the
devastating 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and was awarded the MNZM
for his work during the operation.
He was also responsible for planning and operations for the
2011 Rugby World Cup, and led the rollout of smartphones and
tablets for frontline staff which had contributed to an
additional half a million frontline crime prevention hours
each year, Police Minister Anne Tolley said.
Mr Bush has been Deputy Commissioner Operations since April
2011, and through Prevention First and Policing Excellence
has managed a change programme in police which has
contributed to a 17.4 per cent drop in recorded crimes over
the past three years.
He has held challenging roles in rural, provincial and urban
areas, and as District Commander in Counties Manukau he
pioneered the implementation of Neighbourhood Policing Teams,
which have successfully been introduced across the country,
Mrs Tolley said.
The Governor-General made the appointment of Mr Bush as
Commissioner of Police on the recommendation of the Prime
"I believe Mike Bush will be an outstanding Commissioner of
Police, and will build on the excellent work of the current
Commissioner, Peter Marshall,'' Mrs Tolley said.
"Mr Bush has devoted 35 years of his life to serving the
public with the New Zealand Police, and I congratulate him on
Mr Bush said he was honoured to be appointed as the next
Commissioner of the New Zealand Police.
"Since joining the Police in 1978 as a young constable I am
passionate about this job. I come to work every day knowing
that I am part of an organisation that has a major impact
upon people's lives,'' he said in a statement.
"NZ Police has an enviable international reputation and we
are proud to hold the trust and confidence of the public.''
He also paid tribute to the current Commissioner of Police.
"Peter Marshall has championed change at Police in order to
deliver better results to the Government and New Zealanders
and to better support the victims of crime. Under his
leadership, reported crime and road deaths have continued to
fall and Police are spending more time focused on supporting
victims and the community through a prevention-based
"We are building a truly innovative and modern policing
service and I am committed to continuing that journey and
taking policing to the next level,'' Mr Bush said.
"My leadership priorities for the role will be delivering the
results important to New Zealanders, being safe and feeling
safe in our communities and putting victims at the heart of
everything we do.
"I will continue the visible leadership role of the
Commissioner of Police, both within Police and externally.''