Archive

Archive for 7 March 2012

History Lesson – Rua – Police

7 March 2012 3 comments

And now for another lesson in recent history; cut-backs in police funding, staffing, and other resourcing,

Government: National (in brief coalition with NZ First)

Elected: 12 October 1996

Prime Minister: Jim Bolger

Finance Minister/Treasurer: Bill English

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

Otago Daily Times - 12 February 1997

.

Community policing centres around the country are facing staff cuts like those being considered if the Naenae police station in the Hutt Valley, the Police Association says…

… Mr O’Connor said police administrators committed themselves to cut staff by 540 in four years to pay for the new computer system.”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

Otago Daily Times - 4 March 1997

.

A slow police response to a 111 emergency call was indicative of problems  faced by police because of under-funding and staff shortages, Labour police spokesman George Hawkins said yestrerday…

… ‘This sort of situation happens because  the police are stretched to breaking point.’ The MP said the police budget dropped $6 million in real terms this financial year.

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

Otago Daily Times - 7 March 1997

.

Police Commissioner Peter Doone last night admitted morale within the police force had tumbled over the past 18 months  but scotched suggestions  staff were ready to strike. Labour police spokesman George Hawkins said on Wednesday strike action was being considered by police officers  after the leaking of a Treasury report recommending the police budget be cut  by $47 million by the year 2000.

Mr Doone… conceded, however, that front-line police  had been under pressure for at least 18 months and, with the release of the Treasury report on top of budget restraints, they had taken ‘quite a severe battering’.

The report, which is yet to go to  cabinet, proposed cutting police pay  and budgets, reviewing police superannuation, selling police property and closing the police training college. Mr Doone said Police National Headquarters  was taking staff concerns about the Treasury report seriously  and was already ‘well advanced’ on an emphatic response to its recommendations.

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

Otago Daily Times - 16 October 1997

.

Association president Greg O’Connor told about 100 delegates at the association’s 62nd annual conference in Wellington yesterday the increase in crime  and the decrease in police numbers in recent years had demoralised the force…

… Police numbers since 1994 had gone down 3.9%, while reported crime  had increased by 7%, he said.

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

Otago Daily Times - 12 March 1998

.

The Otago police budget has been cut by almost 20% in the past three years, but district manager Superintendent John Reilly is adamant front line policing has not been compromised…

Mr Hawklins said…

‘The excellent work of Otago’s police on reducing the crime rate is being jeopardised by funding cut-backs – their reward for success is a kick in the teeth’…

Supt Reilly yesterday conceded there were restraints  on police spending in Otago, ‘but none had been placed on operational policing’…

Supt Reilly was determined the cuts would not affect the level of policing which ‘the public are entitled to’…

Supt Reilly had also not ruled out leasing some of the $22.5 Dunedin police station to outside interests as a revenue gatherer.

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

NZPA - 12 June 1998

.

The police review out yesterday recommends 445 ‘back line’ job losses and the contracting out  of police work such as search and rescue, scene guards, and speed camera operations – at a saving of $50.5 million. Police Minister Jack Elder said there could be a ‘significant’ boost in front-line staff beyond the extra 500 promised by the government, as a result of the savings…

Police Association president Greg O’Connor said the report confirmed fears that the sole aim of the review was to cut jobs. Front-line police would be burdoned by extra paperwork, he said…

ACT’s Patricia Schnauer said the review was badly handled, hastily wrotten, and a ‘public confidence loser’…

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Elder emphasised that only 1.7% of sworn staff would lose jobs and said they could move to the front-line or normal attrition would take place...”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

NZPA - 29 September 1998

.

Police Minister Clem Simich said yesterday no wholesale cuts would be made to front-line police numbers under the police review. But some districts have found out they may front-line staff under a proposed new method of allocating staff. Mr Simich said it was ‘pure coincidence’ the police review  was taking place at the same time as a staff allocation process, which could see officer numbers slashed in some districts…

The proposed new allocation process, based on population numbers, could see sworn police numbers cut from the Wellington, Central, Southern and Bay of Plenty districts and Police National Headquarters...”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

Otago Daily Times - 24 April 1999

.

More than a third of the Southern police district’s 100 civilian staff could lose their jobs  as part of police restructuring, district  manager Superintendent John Reilly said today…

A working party had been appointed to look at the recommendation and determine if such losses were sustainable...”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

The Press - 30 April 1999

.

The controversial police review continues to cause concern. The number of non-sworn police staff has fallen by almost 200 in the last year. And three senior Christchurch officers are leaving the force because of job stress caused by the review’s effects.

The fall in non-sworn staff is especially alarming. The numbers were revealed by the Minister of Police, Clem Simich, in a written answer to his parliamentary nemesis, Labour’s police spokesman George Hawkins. Mr Simich says that since April last year, 312 non-sworn staff have left. Although 123  have been reappointed, most were temporary. Mr Hawkins says the decrease means front-line police are answering telephones and doing paperwork rather than catching criminals…

Clearly, the police review has not worked out well. It has diverted senior officers from their primary tasks as they have been forced to reapply for their jobs.”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts -   reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low   morale

NZPA - 15 May 1999

.

Predictions of cuts in police numbers are irresponsible and scaremongering, and do nothing to ease the uncertainty staff feel as the police review goes ahead, says Police Minister Clem Simich…

Mr Simich said it was widely expected that many non-sworn staff positions would go. ‘That’s what the review called for. But those numbers aren’t big. They are not as big as a lot of people make out’…

He agreed that criminal intelligence, crime analysis and many other jobs  done by non-sworn staff  in Palmerston North constituted essential support for officers on the street.”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

Otago Daily Times/NZPA - 16 June 1999

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

Otago Daily Times/NZPA - 16 June 1999

.

Non-sworn police staff have been thrown a lifeline with the government yesterday calling a halt to reductions in the number of police civilian staff. Police Minister Clem Simich also announced the government would be providing extra funding for an additional 90 non-sworn staff throughout the country. ‘The Government and the police have said right from the start we would not tolerate police officers answering phones and doing clerical work instead of being out on the street,’ he said…

A review of the force, announced last October aimed to cut non-sworn staff by 285, and because of changes that have taken place since then, 195 positions have gone. Mr Simich said the extra 90 non-sworn staff would cost about $6 million in the first year…

Association presidentr Greg O’Connor saiid the voice of the police had been heard ‘and we’ve managed to maintain the bottom line’… 

Mr Doone said police operational capacity was not just being maintained – it was being improved. ‘The initial estimates were too tight.  they were just that – initial estimates’ he said.

Labour’s police spokesman George Hawkins said the Government had buckled under pressure from the Opposition and public opinion. ‘But it has failed to go far enough – 195  staff have already gone and the Government’s pathetic claim that cancelling further cuts amounts to providing an “additional” 90 staff is a desperate attempt to put a positive gloss  on an exercise that has been an unmitigated public relations and public safety disaster,’ he said.”

Dunedin’s CIB is being stripped of experienced detectives, with seven having left the police or applied  to transfer to other sections since February. There are also suggestions thers are poised to leave…

While officers were not prepared to speak on the record, there is growing concern at the loss of experienced detectives. Dissatisfaction with the police review and the way the CIB would operate under the new structure are believed to be factors in some of the departures.”

.

Government: Labour (in coalition with The Alliance)

Elected: 27 November 1999

Prime Minister: Helen Clark

Finance Minister: Michael Cullen

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

The Dominion - 26 March 2001

.

A shortage of 200 frontline police officers means there will be no one to drive 404 new police vehicles, National’s police spokesman, Tony Ryall, says… [now in Opposition]

Mr Ryall said Mr Hawkins was in denial over police morale, as latest figures showed there were 200 frontline vacancies…

Assistant police commissioner Jon White said… ‘Police are planning to increase the number of recruit wings over the next year and plan to run a focused campaign to encourage people to join. The recruiting campaign will help increase that flow’.”

.

Government: National (in coalition with ACT, Peter Dunne, and Maori Party)

Elected: 26 November 2012

Prime Minister: John Key

Finance Minister: Bill English

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

Radio New Zealand - 6 March 2012

.

The Government has told police they must keep within their $1.4 billion budget and says all government departments are having to manage without extra money.  Commissioner Peter Marshall is ruling out cuts to frontline policing, but warns other services may be affected and this could include some stations being closed….

…Peter Marshall says some non-sworn positions are already being done away with in a merging of human resources and finance from the 12 police districts down to just three hubs.”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

Newswire - 6 March 2012

.

Police Minister Anne Tolley has avoided responding directly to reports police numbers will be slashed and stations shut to save $360 million over three years.

Police officers and non-sworn staff could lose their jobs, with union negotiations over pay increasing the financial pressures on the police, a source told the New Zealand Herald…

… The reports follow the deferral of an intake of police recruits late last year – a move Prime Minister John Key attributed to a low attrition rate.”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

NZ Herald - 6 March 2012

.

The Police Commissioner has confirmed some jobs will go as he makes moves to stay within budget. Peter Marshall said there are plenty of options about how that will be done and is urging his staff to not panic about losing their jobs…

…Police Minister Anne Tolley said there has been no directive to the Police Commissioner to make savings, just for police to live within their means.

“That’s the expectations we all have on our departments that they live within their budget, there isn’t extra money and so they have to manage and continue to deliver an increase in front line policing hours.”

But Labour’s police spokesman Kris Faafoi said he did not see how that can happen.

“I think if we’re looking at $360 million over three years, it is going to be a mixture of resourcing and front line staff capability and it’s going to hurt the police.”

.

police - police association - national government - cutbacks - staff cuts - funding cuts - reduction in police staffing - reduction in non-sworn staff - greg o'connor - nz police - low morale

Dominion Post - 7 March 2012

.

Mr Marshall declined to comment on the size of any cuts, but he revealed a series of potential targets:

Police station closures;

Non-replacement of staff who quit;

A share of any savings from Corrections and the Justice Ministry being ploughed back into police coffers;

Cancelling outside consultancy contracts;

Changes to how vehicles are bought and serviced.

Paying staff accounted for 73 per cent of the budget so had the greatest bearing on any savings, Mr Marshall said.

The force was 100 sworn officers over its allocated number and natural attrition accounted for about 350 leaving the force each year.

.

Fifteen years have passed since the media reported “community policing centres around the country are facing staff cuts like those being considered if the Naenae police station in the Hutt Valley” – and now history is repeating. It is as if we are witnessing a looped video, with events, policies, and even word-for-word statements made by various National Ministers of Police; Simich, Ryall, and now Tolley…

As per history’s re-run, I suppose it will be up to the next Labour-led government in 2014 (if not earlier) to un-do these cuts and re-build the Police – indeed, rebuild the entire state sector service.

And then New Zealand voters will eventually get another rush of blood to their heads and re-elect another National government, which will again cut taxes;  borrow truckloads of money from overseas; sell more state owned enterprises; slash the state sector; cut Police staffing and resourcing…

Ad infinitum.

Will voters ever learn? I doubt it… though Gen Yers do seem to be a lot more savy than their somewhat dimmer baby-boomer parents/grandparents.

We can but hope.

.

Additional

Radio NZ: Listen to Checkpoint interview with Peter Marshall

Radio NZ: Listen to Greg O’Connor on Checkpoint

Govt under fire over NZDF restructuring

NZ Herald: Cuts likely if police get their hoped-for 3% rise

.

.

Workers lose their jobs – Day of Shame!

7 March 2012 7 comments

.

.

This is a day of shame for New Zealand.

When workers can be sacked and their jobs replaced with “contractors”, it means that workers have lost all rights to job security; fairness in negotiations; and basic concepts of justice.

New Zealand has become a quasi-fascist country. I hope to god that international trade unions slap a total shipping boycott on this country. Just as our trade unions supported workers’ rights in other countries such as South Africa and Chile, we now require the support of free trade unions from around the world.

New Zealand must be isolated until the Ports of Auckland Board and CEO Tony Gibson are sacked.

This is nothing less than an attack on workers – as happened in Poland in December 1981, under their communist regime.

.

.

The time for negotiations has long passed. Employers – whether AFFCO or PoAL – have no intention to negotiate.

If employers can treat “Good faith bargaining” as a sham then workers need to fight fire-with-fire. The time for reasonable negotiations has finished; employers aren’t interested, so why should we play their ‘game’?

It’s time to play hard-ball;

1. Ignore Court orders to return to work.
2. A return to wild-cat strikes as a tactic.
3. Send an urgent request for international assistance.

If workers lose this one, it will be the 1980s/90s all over again.

.

* * *

Addendum

Message posted on John Key’s Facebook page,

.

.

I’m sure Dear Leader would welcome your comments, as well.

.

* * *

.

And messages for Len Brown can be left here, on his Facebook page,

.

.

.

* * * Update! * * *

.

Blogger makes Appeal to Solidarnosc for Support!

.

Additional

Firefighters to join port protest rally

Firefighters could be next for union action


.

.