Part 2: Direction of the New Zealand Police's work programme

Response of the New Zealand Police to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct: First monitoring report.

In this Part, we set out our findings about the steps the Police have taken to ensure that their work programme for responding to the Commission's findings:

Having a clear understanding of what an organisation wants to achieve is critical to any change process. Without this, it is difficult to unify change efforts within an organisation and know when intended changes have been achieved.

We were guided by the Commission's findings when defining the Police's work programme. We defined the Police's work programme as the combination of the Police's:

  • implementation of the Commission's recommendations;
  • existing initiatives and projects (listed in Appendix 3); and
  • further projects that arise from the Government's response to the Commission's findings (we had not identified any such projects at the time of our performance audit).

View of the New Zealand Police in the future

The Police have articulated what their organisation should look like in the future. Individual staff have described what the Police organisation could look like when changes to give effect to the Commission's findings have been fully implemented.

The Police have published a strategic plan covering the period until 2010. The plan was prepared when the Commission's inquiry was under way. The content of the strategic plan is reflected in the Police's Statement of Intent 2008/09 – 2010/11.

The Police stated their vision, mission, strategic goals, and values in their strategic plan (see Figure 3). They and the supporting detail in the strategic plan indicate, in general terms, what the Police believe their organisation should look like in the future.

In our interviews with Police staff, we discussed what the Police organisation should be like when the Commission's recommendations have been fully implemented. In response, one of our interviewees described the future of the Police as one being “the peoples' Police” rather than “policing the people”. Another described it as moving away from a “we know” culture.

Figure 3
The New Zealand Police's vision, mission, outcomes, strategic goals, and values

Figure 3: The New Zealand Police’s vision, mission, outcomes, strategic goals, and values.

Source: New Zealand Police, Policing with Confidence, the New Zealand Way: Strategic Plan to 2010.

In 2007, the SSC, with the assistance of PricewaterhouseCoopers, asked Police staff what “Police of the future” would be like if change is successful. The responses included:

  • Complaints will be fewer, with complainants being happy with the manner in which their inquiries are handled.
  • Training plans will be in place throughout all levels and will be applied consistently with consequences for any non-compliance.
  • There will be more focus on internal standards and with more checks and balances and a proactive rather than reactive stance with respect to police integrity.
  • Public trust and confidence will improve and will be evidenced by survey results.
  • Employee satisfaction will be high.
  • Our staff will have a strong customer focus.
  • Middle and senior managers will be modelling good behaviour, and professionalism.
  • Police staff will be proud.
  • District leaders will have the tools and support as well as the leadership of wider executive to enable them to deal effectively with issues like the Rotorua incident.
  • People problems will be dealt with more expeditiously with performance being more actively managed.
  • Police personnel will understand policies and processes, operating these consistently across the organisation.
  • There will be a culture of unity.

In June 2008, the Commissioner of Police addressed an Area Commanders' conference and described what the future should be like in terms of public satisfaction. He talked about timely and credible public satisfaction information, incentives to improve, and measures that were visible to Police staff.

Aligning the work programme with the New Zealand Police's future

Elements of the Police's work programme to address the Commission's findings align well with the Police's goals, values, and priorities.

In their strategic plan and national business plan for 2008/09, the Police have identified that implementing the Commission's recommendations is an activity that supports integrity and accountability under the strategic goal of “Organisational development”. We were told that this was for the purpose of “housing” the Commission's recommendations, because the Police's strategic plan was prepared before the Commission's final report was released.

The Police acknowledged that, while they have linked implementing the Commission's recommendations to only one strategic goal in their planning documents, the recommendations affect or link to more than one of their strategic goals.

Various elements of the Police's strategic direction are especially pertinent to the Commission's recommendations. These include:

  • thorough investigations, under the “Policing with confidence” strategic goal;
  • integrity and accountability, under the “Organisational development” strategic goal;
  • providing opportunity for participation, under the “Community reassurance” strategic goal; and
  • the integrity and respect values.

Making progress with the Commission's recommendations is one of 16 national priorities in the Police's National Business Plan 2008/09, under the “Organisational development” strategic goal. Similarly, some of the other priorities also relate to the Commission's recommendations. Figure 4 lists the 16 priorities.

Figure 4
The New Zealand Police's 16 priorities for 2008/09

Strategic goal 1: Community reassurance
Outcome 1: Confident, safe and secure communities
1. Implement the new Service First programme and training.
2. Integrate additional community-focused officers.
3. Implement specific Māori initiatives.
Strategic goal 2: Policing with confidence
Outcome 2: Less actual crime and road trauma, fewer victims
4. Progress the [Family Violence Interagency Response System]
5. Improve our Case Management programme.
6. Establish the [Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand]
7. Implement elements of the Electronic Crime Strategy to 2010.
8. Focus on strategic road policing outcomes.
9. Develop our deployment/demand management framework including further consideration of options for addressing non-emergency calls
10. Develop and implement the National Intelligence Project.
11. Continue Tactical Options Deployment Review.
Strategic goal 3: Organisational development
Outcome 3: A world-class police service
12. Continue to implement the Code of Conduct.
13. Progress the [Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct] recommendations.
14. Commence the new national Digital Radio Project.
15. Continue implementing the Leadership and Management Development Framework.
16. Implement new legislation replacing the 1958 Policing Act.

Source: New Zealand Police, National Business Plan 2008/09.

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