Police Minister Stuart Nash says the seizure of 190 kilograms of cocaine in Auckland demonstrates the strength of partnership between Australian and New Zealand law enforcement agencies in preventing the harm drugs cause in our communities.
“Targeting transnational organised crime is a priority for the Government,” Mr Nash says.
“The Government’s unprecedented investment in Police in Budget 2018 supports the deployment of 500 extra Police officers to disrupt, deter and dismantle organised criminal networks and reduce harm in our communities. The Budget also funded 127 extra Customs staff.
“Drugs like cocaine cause harm and fuel organised crime networks. I would like to congratulate Australian Federal Police, New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs staff for their great work in preventing these drugs reaching their destination.
“This operation highlights the key role New Zealand plays internationally in disrupting transnational criminal networks.
“It also showcases the fantastic work Customs and Police staff are doing every day to protect and keep our communities safe.”
Minister of Customs Kris Faafoi said he was pleased to see the focus on consignments transhipping through New Zealand had been effective.
“Additional funding this Government provided in 2018 is aimed at disrupting drugs earlier in the supply chain to prevent harm to the community - this seizure has stopped what would have been a very significant amount of harm.
“This is a good example of what we can achieve when police, border and overseas agencies work together.”
Seventy-nine new Police constables will be deployed across New Zealand following the graduation of a new wing of recruits.
Police Minister Stuart Nash has congratulated the recruits of Wing 320 at the formal graduation parade at the Royal New Zealand Police College. He has also thanked the wing patron, Olympian Rob Waddell, for the support, mentoring and advice he offered during the 16-week training.
“This is the thirteenth recruit wing to graduate since the government took office. A new recruit wing graduates every month. We have deployed 941 new constables across the country. The extra Police in our neighbourhoods mean we can increase the focus on crime prevention and building safer communities.
“The Coalition Agreement with New Zealand First has a commitment to strive towards 1800 extra Police over three years. In addition there will be 485 extra support staff. We need to train an average of 1000 Police every year over this period to take account of attrition of current Police. The attrition rate is running at around five per cent and is one of the lowest in the wider state sector.
“Today’s new constables will be deployed across all Police districts, with the largest cohort of 27 recruits posted to the three Police districts in greater Auckland.
“Female constables make up 26 percent of the wing. More than 12 percent of recruits identify as Maori, more than seven percent as Pasifika, and six per cent as Asian. The youngest recruit is 18 and the oldest is 46. At least twelve new constables were born outside New Zealand and share seven foreign languages between them.
“Many of the new officers bring a strong tradition of volunteer service in their communities. It includes volunteer firefighters, search and rescue and civil defence experts, surf lifesavers, counsellors with Lifeline, the Salvation Army, Oranga Tamaraki and others who have worked to protect wildlife in conservation areas.
“I am proud of the depth of diversity, talent, and commitment to community service which our new constables already demonstrate. These new officers will help us to meet our goals of reducing victimisation and bringing down offending and imprisonment rates.