Recognising great work

Recognising great work

Commissioner Mike Bush MNZM

Ngā mihi. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in districts with visits to Central, Auckland, Canterbury and Waikato. I continue to be impressed with, and extremely proud of, the hard work staff across the country do on a daily basis to keep our communities safe.

During these visits, I attended two command assessments in Canterbury and Central. In Canterbury, the Command assessment was held at the Tuahiwi Marae, the first time one has been held on a marae. It was humbling to have local Iwi leaders welcome us with a pōwhiri and accommodate us for the day.

It is very evident through all of the assessments I attend that our people are working hard to make a difference and are committed to our mission to be the safest country.

With that in mind, I am pleased to announce that we are progressing Police’s new transformation programme, Safest Country – Policing 2021, that brings together our existing Policing Excellence: the Future and PHPF programmes with the Government’s Safer Communities investment package.

There will be more to come on our new programme, including a refreshed Our Business which illustrates on one page why we’re here, what we do, and how we do it.

New Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki

Having been on the advisory panel which recommended Oranga Tamariki be established, it was fantastic to join other CEs to launch the new ministry today. I’m excited for Police to build on the great work we already do in the care and protection space. The new ministry takes a whole of sector approach that will enhance the way we all work with vulnerable children and young people.

Regardless of our work, we as adults have the responsibility to stand up and protect the vulnerable children and young people in our communities. They have the right to grow up feeling safe in all environments – be that at home, at school or anywhere else in their community – and we have a role in ensuring this happens.

Excellent result in Operation Pencarrow

In March last year, I had just landed in Australia when I was advised four of our people had been shot following a drug related search in the Bay of Plenty. As I returned to New Zealand, staff from across the North Island were deployed to the area in support of those four staff and the local operation. A lot of hard work was put in by a number of staff, and that work paid off last Friday when the jury returned a guilty verdict.

This type of incident is one that no Commissioner wants to happen, but in times like this, it is clear to see the great support shown by all involved.  This support is a cornerstone of our organisation. This excellent result is a testament to everyone who worked on Op Pencarrow, from our specialist groups such as AOS, STG and our Police negotiators, through to our investigations and prosecutions staff.

Professionalism on show

Finally, my thanks to everyone involved in the police operation for the official visit to New Zealand this week of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (Operation Speaker). This involved a wide range of staff from a number of districts, particularly Wellington and Auckland, as well as Road Policing and specialist groups.

The visit passed without issue from a police perspective, and I know this was due to the professionalism of all staff involved plus the meticulous planning that goes into these occasions. I spoke with Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers earlier in the week and I share his view that we are the envy of many overseas counterparts with the skill and commitment shown by all our staff especially during significant VIP visits like this.

Until next time, stay safe.

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