Only one week into the job new Police Minister Stuart Nash is already feeling the heat and walking back his own half-baked ideas, National’s Police Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Having just floated the idea of recruiting new police staff from overseas to meet the Labour/NZ First promise of 1800 new officers, Nash has now backtracked completely, ruling out the idea after pressure from the Police Association and his own Cabinet colleague.”

“This is amateur hour stuff. Almost immediately after having been signed-up to the 1800 new Police staff by the Labour/NZ First Agreement, Mr Nash was preparing New Zealanders for failure, saying the target was “aspirational” only, there would in fact be fewer, and not all would be sworn officers.

“Then came the floating of the migrant cop idea, before the immediate slap down from Nanaia Mahuta – and the Police – who rightly pointed out it should be New Zealanders doing the job and they should be properly trained.”

“Like his colleagues, Mr Nash is quite clearly making it up as he goes along. New Zealanders deserves better.”

“I suspect another reason the policy’s been ditched is that it was obviously embarrassing for Labour to admit yet another sector of the economy would require “special visas” – meaning the government allowing people in only where it suits them - in defiance of their own policy of slashing migration.

“Poor Mr Nash has had to take one for the team so Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway can desperately try and make his own target.

“It hasn’t taken long for divisions to become apparent even with Cabinet Ministers from the same party, let alone within the Coalition.

“Furthermore, Labour need to be upfront about the cost of their commitment to 1800 new police. As Nash even admits, with natural attrition in the sector, 3000 extra police will actually have to be recruited to meet the government’s target. Like with the rest of their costings, the Labour/NZ First/Greens government is fudging the numbers and hoping the problem will just go away. It won’t.”

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