“Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has confirmed that Police have given into demands of iwi rather than upholding the law,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“In an interview with media yesterday, the man in charge of our Police said ‘it’s better to maintain legal checkpoints than have iwi groups operate their own illegal checkpoints instead.’
“What the Police Commissioner should have said is: ‘The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of movement. The New Zealand Police will uphold this right, we retain all options for ensuring that is so. If you’re thinking of creating illegal checkpoints, you may find your summer is more indoors that you planned.’
“In other words, a group of thugs threatened to break the law and instead of arresting them, the Police have thrown their hands up in the air and said – if you can’t beat em, join em.
“Coster went on to say “Sitting alongside iwi. I’m confident we can avoid illegal activity, which could have realistically turned State Highway One into a carpark. This is about avoiding unlawfulness.”
“Coster needs to tell us, if this is the new modus operandi of Police. If someone threatens to break the law, instead of stopping them, the Police work with them to make their actions legal.
“What happens if you happen upon a checkpoint that has no Police staff there, but only iwi? Do you call the police, and when they arrive is the checkpoint suddenly legal?
“New Zealanders want a Police force that upholds the law, not joins in on lawlessness. We need an assurance from the Commissioner that that’s what will happen.”