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Iam Keen (September 2019)

This column is written by a frontline police member. It does not represent the views or policies of the Police Association.

Working to the conditions

Sometimes there is no business as usual. Sometimes it’s just a damn hard job that we are employed to do, and, sometimes, it’s not made easier by those leading from the top.

Like some places around New Zealand in recent times that have had a need for a little extra, we pull together when needed and so it has been for the troops under the pump at Ihumātao.

Staff there were working massive hours in poor conditions alongside an almost festival-type protest environment of coffee carts, singers and sausage sizzles.

Agree or not with the protest, we still have a job to do, but that could have been made easier with a few modest additions to boost morale. For example, more than one portaloo, access to police vehicles that aren’t trapped behind protest lines and a visit from those who flit in and out in shiny shoes.

It’s also not helpful for the powers-that-be to agree to actions without consulting the operation team. Surely, consultation and meeting our staff’s expectations go a long way towards  employee morale and embracing Police values?

Speaking of expectations, let’s talk about the lunches, supplied in ye olde brown paper bag. I’m not averse to a packed lunch, but if you’re standing on a line for six hours, you need a little more sustenance than a sammie, a muesli bar and an apple.

And don’t even think about a meal claim, even if you could. Can you imagine navigating that through the system?

With operations such as this, there are always some logistical nightmares. Lessons learnt, I hear you cry. That old chestnut.

The word is, however, had PNHQ kept out of the process and let the district get on with the operation it had planned, the whole event might have been a lot smoother for all involved.

By the way, while we are rolling out new Tasers, body armour, cars, computers and helicopters around the place, can someone please look at our inadequate rain jackets and, dare I ask, can we get some gloves?

Why are we still using our own resources to keep warm? Is this the goodwill of staff yet again?

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