Supplementary Order Paper No 213

No 213

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Policing Bill

Proposed Amendment

Chester Borrows, in Committee, to move the following amendments:

New Clause 97

To omit clause 97 and substitute the following clause after clause 96 (after line 26 on page 57):

97 Police involvement in elections
  • (1) Any constable, authorised officer, or supervisor may only take part in an election of a member of the House of Representatives or a member of a local authority—

    • (a) by voting; or

    • (b) as a candidate in accordance with sections 52 and 53 of the Electoral Act 1993; or

    • (c) in the discharge of his or her duties as a constable, authorised officer, or supervisor.

    (2) In this section, local authority and member of a local authority have the meanings given in section 5(1) of the Local Electoral Act 2001.

Explanatory note

In order to maintain the political neutrality of Police staff, constables, authorised officers and supervisors must be excluded as candidates in general elections as provided in the Electoral Act. However, it is unnecessary and undesirable to restrict Police staff from involvement in local authority elections. Constables, authorised officers and supervisors who are also members of local authorities have the ability to enhance the partnership between Police and the community. Up until now, Police staff have effectively managed conflicts of interest through disclosure. There is no reason that this arrangement cannot continue to operate effectively – thereby allowing Police staff to make a unique and valuable contribution to their local community.