Traffic enforcement remains a function of Police
Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 2:16 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government
Traffic enforcement will remain a function of New Zealand Police, Police Minister Annette King said today.

Ms King said that Police and the Transport Ministry's Traffic Safety Service were merged in 1992, following a review commissioned by the then Government, but the Labour-led Government had undertaken, as part of its 2005 Confidence and Supply Agreement with New Zealand First, to evaluate the costs and benefits of de-merging traffic enforcement from Police.

"The Government directed the State Services Commission to undertake the review, and the SSC commissioned the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research to provide independent analytical support for the review," she said.

"The review has now been completed, and was discussed by the Cabinet on Monday. Both the NZIER and stakeholders identified a number of disadvantages and associated risks with a de-merger that will appear over the longer term, including increased costs, decreased visibility for police, and decreased flexibility and ability to respond."

Ms King said the Government found the arguments against a de-merger to be well-reasoned and based on solid evidence.

"A middle option was put forward during the review of establishing a 'traffic unit' within New Zealand Police. This option was not specifically analysed by NZIER, as it was not part of the scope of the review, but the SSC considers that many of the disadvantages and risks of a full de-merger would also be carried by a 'traffic unit'. The Government accepts the SSC's recommendation that no further work needs to be done on this option."

Ms King says the Government accepts that there are "mixed views about whether traffic enforcement is impacting negatively on overall public perceptions of NZ Police. There has, however, been no notable decline in confidence in the police since the merger, and nor has the merger affected the police ability to attend to other crime. It is possible we need to do more work to emphasise the importance of traffic enforcement in terms of road safety and in detection of other serious crimes, and I will be working with NZ Police to ensure this happens."