Hon Trevor Mallard: Will she rule out supporting Mike Bush as a candidate for the soon to be vacant police commissioner’s position, in light of his appalling judgment in reading those comments out in that eulogy?
Hon ANNE TOLLEY: We currently have a commissioner, and it would be inappropriate for any politician, at any stage, to make any comments about the future employment of any of our outstanding police commissioners. I am amazed that that member would sully the name of the one of the top serving police officers in this country.
I am one of those who think Mike Bush made a mistake in reading out the comments from Bruce Hutton’s service record. But hell it was the man’s funeral. Of course you are going to say nice things at a funeral.
Labour seem to be saying that one error of judgement, not even directly related to policing duties, means Bush should not be eligible to be Commissioner.
Apart from the unfortunate politicising of the appointment, I think that is a woeful attitude. Bush is highly respected by rank and file officers, and had a great record as Counties-Manukau District Commander. On his watch (helped by extra police officers) crime fell significantly in Counties-Manukau.
An article on his record in the Police is here. It includes a fall in crime, busting major drug rings and 100% resolution rate for homicides. Labour would have all of that count for nothing because of a comment at a funeral!
Look at what has happened to crime in Counties-Manukau. It was once almost a no go area.
- Total offences down from 56,041 in 2009 to 44,699 in 2012 – a 20% drop in three years
- Violent offences down from 6,579 to 5,803 – a 12% drop
- Robberies down 30%
- Thefts down 22%
- An increase in the resolution rate from 43.05 to 47.5%
As I said, I thought the funeral comments well ill-judged. But I believe you judge someone on their overall record of 30 years service, and Labour is not serving the public interest by trying to pressure him out of a job.