Ninety-eight new Police constables will be deployed around the country with the graduation today of the largest single Police recruit wing in more than a decade.
Police Minister Stuart Nash has congratulated the new constables who passed through the final stages of their formal training at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
“The ninety-eight new constables of Recruit Wing 318 are the largest single cohort to graduate since 2006. They put a human face to the unprecedented investment in Police in this year’s Budget,” Mr Nash says.
“We set aside $300 million in new operating funding and $18 million in capital funding. It’s the first step towards our coalition commitment with New Zealand First to strive for 1800 extra Police officers and 485 new support staff.
“This is the eleventh recruit wing to graduate since this government took office and 786 new Police officers are deployed as a result. The extra officers will be over and above the attrition of current Police. The attrition rate in Police is around five percent per annum and is one of the lowest in the wider state sector.
“Last month the Commissioner of Police confirmed the allocation of the 1800 extra officers, with a particular focus on ensuring they were deployed to urban, provincial and rural centres around the whole country. The 98 recruits from Wing 318 will be deployed to all 12 Policing districts.
“There’s a great depth of talent and diversity in the new Police officers. Female constables make up 39 per cent of the wing, ten per cent are Maori, seven per cent Pasifika and nine per cent Asian. The youngest in nineteen and the oldest is 50. Sixteen officers were born outside New Zealand and share at least nine foreign languages between them. There are former sporting reps from New Zealand, Samoan and Australian national teams, and a strong tradition of volunteering in areas like search and rescue, firefighting, and supporting victims, youth groups and the elderly.
“The growing number of new officers allows Police to make real inroads into crime prevention in order to reduce victimisation, lower reoffending and bring down imprisonment rates. They help the government fulfil a key priority of its long-term plan outlined at the weekend, by building safer and more connected communities,” Mr Nash says.
The commercial tarakihi catch in the fisheries areas off the east coast of the North and South Islands is to be reduced by 20 percent in an effort to rebuild the depleted stock.
Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has also signalled further cuts to the tarakihi catch are in store next year unless the commercial fishing industry can develop a plan to rebuild the fishery within ten years.
Mr Nash has reviewed Total Allowable Catch and other management controls for 32 stocks as part of the regular twice yearly sustainability round. “The decisions follow public consultation and take effect for the fishing year which starts on 1 October,” Mr Nash says.
“These decisions are based on the best available scientific information and show the effectiveness of the Quota Management System. It is flexible and responsive to change. Where a stock is below expected levels then we will act to protect it.
“The tarakihi fishery is of great importance to commercial inshore trawlers and for recreational and customary fishing. I have decided a package of measures is required to get this important fishery back to where it needs to be, which in technical terms is 40 percent of the unfished spawning stock biomass. It is currently at less than half this target.
“I have decided on a phased approach, beginning with a 20 percent reduction in the first year. The industry has eight months to develop a plan to rebuild the stock. If the plan is not sufficiently robust then further cuts of up to 35 percent of current catch will be introduced for the October 2019 fishing year.
“Other changes include increases in catch limits for fish stocks that are doing well, such as southern bluefin tuna, orange roughy and scampi, and a decrease in catch limits for stocks that need help to rebuild, such as longfin eels and Northern flatfish. There will be increases to catch limits for 11 stocks, and decreases to catch limits for 12 stocks. The catch limits for the rest of the stocks will remain the same this fishing year.
Stocks reviewed this year include those of cultural importance to tangata whenua such as longfin and shortfin eels, as well as some shared fish stocks that are important to commercial and recreational sectors, such as tarakihi, flatfish, pāua, and red gurnard.
“I have also decided to close the Kaipara Harbour scallop fishery to recreational scallop fishing under section 11 of the Fisheries Act to allow the stock to recover. This means the Kaipara Harbour scallop fishery will be closed to both commercial and recreational fishing,” Mr Nash says.
These decisions come into effect 1 October 2018, except for the Kaipara Harbour scallop closure, which will come into effect later in October.
For more detailed information on the changes visit www.fisheries.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/review-of-sustainability-measures-for-1-october-2018/