More officers promised through increased funding
The police budget will rise by almost $300 million over four years, as the Government attempts to bolster the frontline.
This means the goal of hiring 1800 new frontline staff has not been reached yet. The 2018 budget will mean an extra 920 officers can be hired in the coming year, along with 240 support staff.
‘‘Budget 2018 takes the first steps towards that. It includes $298.8m in new operating funding and $17.8m capital for the police over the next four years.
‘‘In addition, $159.7m of new funding is provided in 2022/23,’’ Minister of Police Stuart Nash said. ‘‘These increases enable the recruitment of an extra 920 officers and 240 support staff to maintain and build on the 880 officers and 245 support staff announced in Budget 2017.’’
Police Association vicepresident Craig Tickelpenny said: ‘‘This $300m commitment to policing is a serious one that is desperately needed to address the growing pressures on frontline 24/7 staff. The frontline should be the first cab off the allocation rank.
‘‘We have always made it very clear . . . that staffing issues top the list of concerns our members have, and we are pleased our voice has been heard.’’
Opposition leader Simon Bridges said it was a ‘‘broken promise’’ that police were not getting the 1800 straight away.