Police vetting charge for schools

Schools have been told that police will soon start charging almost $10 per person they are required to vet.

A Ministry of Education bulletin to schools advises the charge - $8.50 excluding GST - will be applied later this year, with confirmation of timing to come.

A law change last year cleared the way for police to recover costs for certain "demand'' services, including the 500,000 security vetting applications received each year.

The Government says the fee for each application is much lower than overseas charging, which is more than $50 in Australia.

There will also be exemptions for agencies - including schools - making 20 or fewer vetting request per year, and for charities.

Fees can also be waived for agencies facing extreme hardship or in cases of exceptional circumstances.

Lynda Stuart, president of education union NZEI, said the vetting chare would be another additional cost on schools.

"Principals, teachers and support staff fully support any measures that are going to keep our children safe. But schools and ECE services need more money to meet these extra costs.

"It's ridiculous tax cuts are being considered when schools and early childhood centres are struggling to stay afloat.''

When legislation passed to allow charges for vetting in November, then Police Minister Judith Collins said New Zealand Police was one of the few police services in the world that did not have legislation allowing for some degree of cost recovery.

Ms Collins said the police vetting service was facing significant growth, with demand increasing by more than 100,000 vets since 2012/13.

Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First opposed the change.

The law change will allow police to recover more than $3 million each year.

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