[Sitting date: 23 May 2012. Volume:680;Page:2315. Text is incorporated into the Bound Volume.]
KRIS FAAFOI (Labour—Mana) to the
Minister of Police: What is the basis for her assertion that there will be no negative effect on Police front-line services despite no new money for Vote Police in tomorrow’s Budget and given that Police face potential cost increases of $470 million over the next four years in wages alone?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister of Police)
: The Commissioner of Police has assured me that there will be no negative effect on front-line services, and I have absolute confidence in him. The figure that the member has used in the primary question is simply conjecture, as the police are currently in negotiations with the Police Association.
Kris Faafoi: Given her earlier statement that savings would be made in human resources and accounting, and the fact that last year the police spent $28.5 million in those areas, where else will she be looking to make over $100 million of savings in the next year?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: Firstly, I repeat that the figures that the member is using are Labour Party figures, and Labour is making assumptions about the results of negotiations that have not yet been concluded, and that is always very dangerous. However, I would also like to point out in answer to the question that actually the police
operate under the Policing Act—which is independently—and all operational decisions are made by the commissioner. He has given me his assurance that front-line services will not suffer; in fact, they will be enhanced.
Kris Faafoi: Does she agree with the Police Association President, Greg O’Connor, who in this month’s Police Association magazine wrote: “the Government will end up wearing the blame from unhappy voters once our own equivalent of a production crisis—service reduction—starts to affect them.”
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: No. As I say, we are in the middle of industrial negotiations, and that is a very political positioning statement.
Kris Faafoi: I seek leave to table Greg O’Connor’s column from the Police Association magazine of this month.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is objection.
Kris Faafoi: Does the zero Budget for the Police reflect the Prime Minister’s statement last year that our police officers had a little bit of spare time?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: In fact, the Budget for the Police this year and in outgoing years reflects the fact that we are getting much better value from our Public Service spend than the Labour Government managed in 9 years.