Statement from Commissioner Mike Bush:
Suggestions that Maori in Counties Manukau district are getting preferential treatment for traffic offences are misleading.
Police's traffic compliance policy has been in place for more than 10 years and enables police officers to use their discretion to give drivers a certain amount of time to fix a problem rather than paying a fine or being prosecuted.
All New Zealanders may be offered traffic compliance if they meet the criteria, regardless of their ethnicity. The decision is at the discretion of individual police officers, who will take into account the particular circumstances of each matter when deciding whether compliance should be offered.
Our approach to road policing and any use of police discretion is inclusive. This issue is about reducing the harm from road trauma in all our communities.
I acknowledge the 18 month old document reported in the media from Counties Manukau district could have been worded better and we will change that.
Nevertheless its intent was good, given the reality is that Maori are significantly over-represented in deaths and injuries associated with road trauma.
As police we are committed to a constructive, problem solving approach in tackling this, just as we are with the over-representation of Maori throughout the justice system.
This means taking innovative approaches and working in partnership with Iwi to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep Maori safe, as we do for everyone in our communities.
Our Turning of the Tide strategy is our guiding policy document on this and I encourage anyone who wants a fully informed understanding of our approach to Maori to read it.
Information about compliance: