A good appointment

February 26th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Anne Tolley announced:

Minister Anne Tolley has announced the appointment of current Deputy Commissioner Operations, MNZM, as the next Commissioner of .

Mr Bush, who has a wide range of operational experience both in New Zealand and overseas, has been appointed for a three-year term which commences on 3 April 2014.

Mr Bush has been Deputy Commissioner Operations since April 2011, and through Prevention First and Policing Excellence has managed a change programme in Police which has contributed to a 17.4 per cent drop in recorded crimes over the past three years.

He has held challenging roles in rural, provincial and urban areas, and as District Commander in Counties Manukau he pioneered the implementation of Neighbourhood Policing Teams, which have successfully been introduced across the country.

Mr Bush was responsible for planning and operations for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and also led the rollout of smartphones and tablets for frontline staff which has contributed to an additional half a million frontline crime prevention hours each year.

As Police Liaison Officer for South East Asia, Mr Bush was the first New Zealand official to reach Phuket following the devastating 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and was awarded the MNZM for his work during the operation.

Bush is very popular with rank and file police, and I place great store in their opinion. He also produced outstanding results at Counties Manukau District Commander.

His comments on Bruce Hutton as Hutton’s funeral, was a error of judgement and he has apologised for them. But I am glad they did not stop him getting the job. 35 years of excellent service should not be over-shadowed by one eulogy.

Retiring Commissioner Peter Marshall was also a popular top cop with the rank and file, and he produced some good results during his tenure. I hope Mike Bush will be able to do the same.

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26 Responses to “A good appointment”

  1. Andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    His comments on Bruce Hutton as Hutton’s funeral, was a error of judgement

    He gave an eulogy at a colleague’s funeral and said nice things about him as custom dictates when giving eulogies.

    And because the deceased had been involved in a controversial case longer ago than most New Zelanders have been alive the media selectively reported a sentence or two from this eulogy and some, a very few, people went into outrage mode, including the man a the center of this case.

    People need to get over themselves – its all ancient history now whatever the real truth

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  2. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    Well said, Andrei.
    Typical media to harp on about this and give even more air time to the Thomas family. This will always boringly be tagged to Bush’s name – along with words like ‘controversial’. Our media are so shallow and predictable.

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  3. Random Punter (78 comments) says:

    “His comments on Bruce Hutton as Hutton’s funeral, was a error of judgement and he has apologised for them.”

    With respect, DPF, you are being far too charitable. Bush’s remarks were scripted and premeditated, not off the cuff, and, I believe, reflect a longstanding culture of denial within the Police about Hutton’s guilt. To describe him as having “integrity beyond reproach” is direct and deliberate challenge to the Royal Commission’s finding that Hutton had perverted the course of justice by planting evidence to frame Arthur Allan Thomas. And Bush has said he regrets having made the comments – he has not resiled from their substance.

    I’m not saying he shouldn’t be appointed, just that the significance of his remarks should not be downplayed.

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  4. Nick R (522 comments) says:

    He didn’t apologise for his comments. He apologised for any offence he caused, which is an entirely different thing. It’s like me calling someone stupid and then saying I am sorry if you were offended when I called you stupid. Not like saying I am sorry, you are not stupid, I should not have said that, I was wrong.

    I think that matters because his original comment suggests that he is willing to excuse or overlook a policeman planting evidence to secure a conviction.

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  5. Akaroa (613 comments) says:

    Hear, hear, Andre at 1213! I’ve met Mike Bush and I am sure that he’ll do a great job as Commissioner. A truly rounded personality that most people can relate to.

    As for the individual who raised that eulogy non-issue, unfortunately there is a sector of NZ society that would react like that.

    Although I have lived here for over forty years now, I’m still conscious that there is a section of NZ society that is small-minded, petty, unforgiving and nit-picking. I put it down to those people’s living in a small population and consequently not having the breadth of outlook or life experience that living in a larger national community brings.

    I actually feel a bit sorry for people – (and i see some are already posting above!!) – who can’t get over the past!

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  6. stephieboy (3,519 comments) says:

    I’ve commented elsewhere on KB and have nothing to add To that what Andrei has already said.I think Des Thomas is being a tad precious in asking for a personal apology.Mike Bush has done his part. Time to move on.
    Meanwhile, and despite some rather extravagant claims from media pundits and writers etc, Rochelle Crewe’s questions continue to remain unanswered.

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  7. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    If Bush were a Labour appointee, media would be hailing it as a wonderful choice. Best media look at socialist mugs appointed to the bench by Labour, reason why we have such ridiculous penalties dished out for serious crimes. This guy Bush sounds like a real man, not a Sociology Degree carrying loser, such as Labour would appoint.

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  8. LesleyNZ (20 comments) says:

    A good choice.

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  9. Ed Snack (1,939 comments) says:

    I disagree, Bush’s statement was a reaffirmation that the Police have never accepted (and probably never will) that Hutton was a despicable criminal who conspired to send AAT to jail for a crime that he did not commit. To appoint Bush is to accept that the police believe it a perfectly acceptable tactic to manufacture evidence on someone who they are sure is guilty but cannot find the evidence to prove it.

    I reckon that the Crewe case and the police deceit in manufacturing evidence was the first significant step that led to the police being far less respected in NZ society than they were in the past. It was not the only one, nor even necessarily the first, but it was the one that moved a great many people I knew at the time to doubt, for the first time, that the police were completely impartial and honest.

    So unless he has the balls to face up and apologize for his statements (and not using the weasel “for any offense they may have caused” words) then he’s not a good choice but a form of institutional corruption.

    But hey, what would us proles know, you elite can appoint who you like because you know what’s good for us, don’t you.

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  10. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    His comments on Bruce Hutton as Hutton’s funeral, was a error of judgement and he has apologised for them.

    His apology was half-hearted. He said they were “probably inappropriate”. WTF?

    The real questions are: does Mike Bush think AA Thomas had any involvement with the Crewes’ murders and does he think Bruce Hutton’s integrity was “beyond reproach”? If his answer to either question is yes, he’s got some explaining to do.

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  11. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    So unless he has the balls to face up and apologize for his statements (and not using the weasel “for any offense they may have caused” words)

    They weren’t the only weasel words he used. He said his comments were “probably” inappropriate. Well, they were either inappropriate or they weren’t – where does probability come into it?

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  12. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I’ve met Mike Bush and I am sure that he’ll do a great job as Commissioner. A truly rounded personality that most people can relate to.

    That would indeed be true if most people were corrupt. :)

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  13. Rowan (2,604 comments) says:

    Whats the bet that the internal police review into the handling of the crewe case will cover up the real issues and basically focus on exonerating Hutton and his corrupt actions, afterall Hutton has ‘Integrity beyond reproach’ according to Bush, I hate the way that the police can do no wrong in the eyes of the justice system. Yes they do a pretty good job overall but there are some bad eggs and poor jobs done on occassions.

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  14. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    ross69: I hope one day you will have a need for police assistance, and guess what, like me, they will know exactly who you are, so take their time, leaving you to your own defences. You and McCarten will gel well.

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  15. stephieboy (3,519 comments) says:

    Rowan , your last sentence was spot on.But I’d have ti say ,despite the propaganda, the Police did an overall good job on the Bain murders.This is explained by the fact that compensation still eludes David and will continue to so till the days of the final retribution as per the book of Revelations.
    But another one is that Pat Booth , AAT’s leading advocate , has stated that Bain lacks planted evidence to qualify for compo.!

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  16. CHFR (241 comments) says:

    Come on igm who is Ross??

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  17. Ed Snack (1,939 comments) says:

    What I would accept is for Bush to come out and say directly: That he spoke about Hutton in the context of a funeral and in general he was well respected. However in one specific instance he was absolutely in the wrong. The NZ police do not and will never condone the manufacture and planting of evidence. That was a crime for which I absolutely apologize for and pledge will never recur.

    No offense, no weaseling, no apologetics or euphemisms. Say it like we expect you to; and we can all get over it.

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  18. Random Punter (78 comments) says:

    “People need to get over themselves – its all ancient history now whatever the real truth” (Andrei)
    “I actually feel a bit sorry for people – (and i see some are already posting above!!) – who can’t get over the past!” (Akaroa)

    Again with respect, these comments miss the point. It’s not about what happened forty-odd years ago. It’s about remarks made recently by a senior police officer about deliberate conduct by police which led to an innocent man spending nine years in prison. The Royal Commission called that an “unspeakable outrage”. Indeed it was, and that a senior police officer should now be seeking to excuse or extenuate that conduct only compounds the outrage.

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  19. peterwn (3,333 comments) says:

    This is two good appointments in a row from National’s point of view. The other one of course being Matt McCarten as David Cunliffe’s chief of staff.

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  20. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    I dont know Bush but good leadership is about having good judgement so his appointment has some questionmarks for me.

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  21. elscorcho (155 comments) says:

    Hate to let facts get in the way of a good argument… but:
    “Great results in Counties-Manukau” – Supt Bush came in 2008, just as the 300 new staff started turning up. This increased CMD’s strength by about 33%. It doesn’t take a top-notch manager to improve performance with an extra third of staff. The poor DCs before Bushy had been operating at a strength of 850-900 (like Auckland City and Waitemata).
    CM West also struggled with burglaries throughout Bush’s reign.
    A lot of commentators state that Bush invented NPTs and preventive policing. Bullshit. NPTs came in with the Brit influx, and some of the more innovative approaches were enabled by the 300 extra staff (again, easy to be creative with heaps of resources.)

    I’m not saying Bush isn’t a good choice, but he doesn’t walk on water.

    (For those interested in the truth of my remarks, the Stats NZ site offers a Statsfinder service that provides police statistics by District)

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  22. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Also there is a question now whether Bush’s comments reflect the wider view withing the Police that Thomas was guilty which then brings into question whether the current police report on the Thomas case can be considered impartial or is simply going to be whitewash

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  23. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    ross69: I hope one day you will have a need for police assistance, and guess what, like me, they will know exactly who you are, so take their time, leaving you to your own defences. You and McCarten will gel well.

    What a bizarre statement. I hope you get well soon.

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  24. Rowan (2,604 comments) says:

    Stephieboy
    This is not a DB thread, please do not use it to show us again all your ignorance of the Bain case.
    BTW how much have you set aside to contribute to the defence of KP? he will soon be needing it.

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  25. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Mike Bush – new police commissioner

    Joined police force in 1978
    1990s: Four years in Kaitaia.
    2000s: Southeast Asia liaison officer based in Bangkok.
    2004: First NZ official to reach Phuket after 2004 tsunami. Made a Member of NZ Order of Merit.
    2008: Counties-Manukau District Commander. Introduced a major crime team.
    2011: Appointed as Deputy Police Commissioner – Operations.
    2011: In charge of policing for Rugby World Cup.

    – NZ Herald

    What was Mike Bush doing during the 12 years between 1978 and 1990? With Greg O’Conner and Patrick O’Brien “working” under-cover and giving false evidence in Court no doubt.

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  26. Farmerpete (58 comments) says:

    Well if he is to be a good Commissioner of Police he will have to seriously up his game. I consider his ill conceived, misguided, insensitive and just plain stupid comments at Hutton’s funeral to be worse than Colin Craig or Jaimie Whyte’s faux pas.
    It shows that senior police have learned nothing from high profile disasters. It would have been so easy to have focused on Hutton’s other attributes (father, family man, member of community etc) but to specifically endorse the honesty and integrity of a discredited and dishonest police officer is more than just a step too far for me.
    As far as I am concerned he has a very large deficit to make up. I just can’t get past the feeling that someone who knowingly uses his position to publicly endorse a dishonest cop has questionable judgement and ethics himself. I guess time will tell.

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