Police Minister Stuart Nash is fudging the numbers in a desperate attempt to meet the Labour-NZ First coalition promise of an additional 1800 sworn police officers, National’s Police Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Today in Question Time Mr Nash admitted that the Government will start counting the additional 1800 cops from the day the new Government took office.
“Every one of the estimated 400 new cops on the beat since the election were funded by National through the Budget 2017 Safer Communities package, not by the new Government.
“Mr Nash confirmed that Labour plans to count National’s 880 extra sworn police officers funded through Budget 2017 towards his 1800 target
“That means Mr Nash is shamelessly putting a stamp on National’s additional new cops and claiming them as part of the coalition promise.
“Taking into account his admission in the weekend that only 1100 of the 1800 new police will be frontline, the Government will only be adding 220 frontline cops – a far cry from 1800.
“It’s clear he’s trying to hide his Government’s broken promise by counting National’s cops, as well as counting sworn officers who won’t be sworn. All so that wealthy tertiary students can study for free and so Winston Peters can build a new $5 million outpost in Sweden.
“To make matters worse, Mr Nash says “it hasn’t been completely decided” what the new police numbers will be – either to give himself room to downgrade the promise even further or because he simply hasn’t bothered to figure it out.
“We are only eight days out from the Budget and Mr Nash has been the Minister for over seven months. What on earth has he been doing?”