Government must rethink paying for police checks

National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. 

“National’s proposal to start charging charities and voluntary organisations for police background checks on staff and volunteers is overwhelmingly unpopular with the sector. The Bill will have its second reading this week.

“This is a part of our society already under significant cost pressures and National has ignored them again. 

“That means groups like the Cancer Society will be paying for every police check they require unless they get an exemption from the Police Commissioner. 

“Charities and volunteer groups shouldn't be the ones paying the price for National's cuts to the police budget. 

"Registered not-for-profits charities should be able to keep this money and use it to do good in their communities. My amendment, which will be voted on in the committee stage of the Bill, would exempt them and this has the support of the Maori Party. 

“All it needs to pass is the support of Peter Dunne. I urge him to support this sensible change,” says Poto Williams.