While we wonder who Poto Williams represents, let’s muse on why Greg O’Connor missed out on the Police post

Newstalk ZB broadcaster Mike Yardley, writing about his recent interview with Police Minister Poto Williams,  said he had been keen to learn why she was so dead against Armed Response Teams.

Good question.

But some of Williams’ replies during the interview raised another issue:   who does the Member for Christchurch East represent?

We emailed that question to her office last Wednesday.  We have yet to receive a reply.

In the Newstalk ZB interview, Yardley put it to Williams that – along with the Police Commissioner – she was placing far too much stock on the woke radical pressure groups who purport to represent the public pulse on policing issues.

He mentioned lobby groups such as Just Speak, Action Station and People Against Prisons Aotearoa, describing them as

“… a bit like the cycling lobby, highly organised, highly adept at capturing councils, flooding them with submissions, and courting favour.”

Yardley reckons these groups are driving the anti-cop agenda and fuelling the hostility to armed police. Continue reading “While we wonder who Poto Williams represents, let’s muse on why Greg O’Connor missed out on the Police post”

Arming the police: Police Minister’s explanation about her stance triggers questions about representation

It has been a quiet week in The Beehive, since the Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Andrew Little expressed New Zealand’s condemnation of malicious cyber activity by “Chinese state-sponsored actors”.

Ominously quiet.

What are they hatching now (we wonder) and when will they announce it?

Mind you, when we say it has been a quiet week in The Beehive, we don’t mean Ministers have been quiet.

Speaking as Minister of Police (for example), Poto Williams said she will not be backing down on her strong stance not to support the general arming of police because the Māori and Pacific Island communities she represents do not want it.

We kid you not.

And there we were thinking she was the MP for Christchurch East, a community of many ethnicities.

The graph we found on Parliament’s website suggests Maori and Pacific Islanders comprise a minority in the electorate and the substantial numbers of “European” residents comprise a bigger percentage of the total population (around 70,000 people) than they do nation-wide.

Source: Parliamentary Library using data from Stats NZ

Continue reading “Arming the police: Police Minister’s explanation about her stance triggers questions about representation”

We could have had a former copper as Minister of Police but the PM opted for Poto Williams

We were prompted to check out Greg O’Connor’s CV this morning after finding him mentioned in despatches on Lindsey Mitchell’s splendid blog. 

We turned to Wikipedia for a quick rundown on what he has done and found he served in the New Zealand Police for almost four decades, ending his career with the rank of Senior Sergeant.  

He was later elected President of the New Zealand Police Association in 1995.  His time as President was highly politicized with O’Connor weighing into political debates that concerned the Police force, particularly in regards to arming officers with firearms.

O’Connor called for arming the police in New Zealand and also proposed routine arming of front line response police officers.

 He retired as President in 2016, serving a record 21 years as the Police Association’s head and regarded raising the Police Association’s credibility as his main achievement during his tenure.  

He also spent time serving as the chair of the International Council of Police Representatives Association (ICPRA). Continue reading “We could have had a former copper as Minister of Police but the PM opted for Poto Williams”

Ministers pay tribute to refugees and volunteers (and Lees-Galloway will have more to say in a Beehive speech)

Refugees and volunteers were the subjects of the only two press statements to emerge from the Beehive since our previous report on ministerial announcements.

Saturday was World Refugee Day, giving Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway a pretext for reminding us of his existence, and Sunday was the start of National Volunteer Week, 21 June to 27 June 2020, giving Community and Volunteer Sector Minister Poto Williams a similar platform.

Both occasions left us wondering at Point of Order:  who dreams up these occasions?

Lees-Galloway clumsily said:

“The Government is proud to play our part in international humanitarian work to provide support and protection to refugees, and celebrate the contributions our refugee community makes on World Refugee Day today.”

So how does it regard the contributions our refugee community makes on other days? Continue reading “Ministers pay tribute to refugees and volunteers (and Lees-Galloway will have more to say in a Beehive speech)”