Home' Greymouth Star : July 2nd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Thursday, July 2, 2015
The number of police officers feeling
ambivalent about their jobs is alarming,
says an employment expert.
The police workplace sur vey 2015
showed nearly three-quarters of the
police force were either “disengaged” or
“ambivalent ” towards their job.
However, police deputy chief executive
of people Fiona Michel said the report
showed police performed well against
the state sector benchmark and work
was under way to improve “how we value
The sixth annual sur vey showed 15.3%
of police employees were disengaged with
their jobs and 58.3% were ambivalent
up from 14.1% disengaged in 2014
and on par with the 58.4% who were
ambivalent last year.
Employment specialist Tom O’Neil, of
cv.co.nz, said that was an extremely high
number and should be a concern for the
“Almost 60% are just ambivalent about
their role and for me that ’s a really sad
indictment — if I am ambivalent, I am
“As New Zealanders we tend to be very
proud of our police overall — they are
very well respected in New Zealand and
it’s just a real shame that there is such a
high level of the force that are kind of
‘meh’ about their jobs.
“These people change lives for the
good every single day, without them as
a country we’d be stuffed so I was quite
surprised because these people are really
making life-changing decisions every
single day. ”
Police Association president Greg
O’Connor said the results showed how
a stagnant police budget was putting
pressure on staff.
“ With resourcing, people are working
much harder and those constrictions are
starting to show.
“My experience with police officers is
they think they are doing a job for public
and they tend to be engaged if they
think they are doing a good job, so it just
goes to show the effect it has when you
get to work and aren’t able to do the job
you want to do.”
Mr O’Neil said the police scored
better than other State sectors, but
there obvious issues that needed to be
For example, high satisfaction among
younger staff dropped off after two years
of ser vice, from 44.8% engaged to 24.4%,
and was not buoyed again until 20 years
of ser vice, where it was 28.3% .
“ What has happened that ’s changed
how they feel? (Police) should be
asking, ‘What are we giving them, are
we supporting them, is there a culture
Ms Michel said: “It is not unusual
for there to be a wide spread of results
among a large workforce in a complex
organisation such as police and overall
(the results) show a picture of a high
She said new staff losing enthusiasm
applied “in any large organisation after
four years, not just police”.
“The low turnover of staff compared
with other State sector agencies tells us
that the over whelming majority of staff
enjoy their work. ”
Pockets of high satisfaction in
Auckland city and Counties Manukau
were promising, as was the high levels
among Maori and Pacific employees, Mr
Mr O’Connor said satisfaction was
higher in those areas because they
had received more staffing than other
The sur vey had a response rate of
69.1%, or 8361 staff members, down
from 73% in 2014.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
A 30-year-old man and his two-
year-old passenger were taken
to hospital after the car he was
driving ploughed into a parked
Emergency ser vices were
called to the crash in Highcliff
Road, Dunedin, about 10.30am
The driver was taken to
Dunedin Hospital with serious
injuries and the child with
moderate injuries, St John South
Island communications adviser
Ian Henderson said.
Otago coastal road policing
manager senior sergeant Phil
McDouall said the cause of the
crash was under investigation,
but alcohol and drugs were not
suspected to be factors. The child
was correctly restrained in a car
seat in the back seat of the car,
Senior sergeant Stephen Larking
said the car was extensively
damaged. Neither the man nor
child had life-threatening injuries.
— Otago Daily Times
Man, child hur t in crash
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
A contractor inspects the scene of a car crash in Highcliff Road, Dunedin, yesterday.
Government ministers will have
direct control over the sale of State
houses if a new bill is passed.
The new legislation is designed to
facilitate National’s plan to sell up
to 8000 state houses to community
It gave authority to Social Housing
Minister Paula Bennett and
Housing New Zealand Minister Bill
English to take over Housing New
Zealand’s role in negotiating and
carrying out the sale of State houses.
Mrs Bennett said the bill simplified
the process of implementing a
crucial part of Government ’s social
She said that under the current
system, it was difficult for the
Government to direct Housing New
Zealand (HNZ) to transfer specific
“The solution in this bill is a
measured response that enables
the Government to transfer HNZ
properties, for the purposes of the
social housing reform programme,
on behalf of HNZ,” she said.
Mrs Bennett said the changes
would allow Government fulfill its
commitment to sell between 1000
and 2000 houses to community
providers over the next year.
The bill’s introductory note said
ministers could only sell or lease
properties for the purpose of “social
housing reform objectives”.
The new powers were expected to
only be used “where Housing New
Zealand Corporation has not been
able to reach agreement ”.
But Labour’s housing spokesman
Phil Twyford said the law change
would put ministers “above the
law ” and free them from the usual
legal requirements for selling state
“It completely cuts Housing
New Zealand public servants and
Housing New Zealand’s legislative
requirements out of the picture,” he
In a statement, Mr Twyford added:
“There is a good reason Ministers
are supposed to be at arm’s length,
and that checks and balances are in
“This bill is a charter for corruption
at a time when these ministers
are planning to hock off billions
of dollars of public assets.” The
legislation would allow Mr English
to direct any money made from the
sale of State houses to go to the
Crown instead of Housing New
It also removed the requirement
for Government to offer any land
back to the original owner.
At present, if Crown-owned land
is earmarked for sale, its original
owners must be given right of first
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
Ministers will control State houses sale
More than $17,000 has been raised to
help pay for the funeral of an Auckland
woman killed in a car accident while
travelling home from a funeral.
Sophie Langston, 28, died when the
car she was in with her partner, Simon
Thomas, crashed just south of Turangi
about 1pm on Tuesday.
Friends are now helping Sophie’s twin
sister, Laura, to raise money for a funeral.
As of 8am today a Givealittle fundraising
page set up by Mr Thomas’s brother had
$17,114 donations from 194 people.
Alongside donations people left
messages of support and tributes on the
A friend, Christopher Harper, said
Sophie touched a lot of lives.
“She was a fun-loving, bubbly girl. She
was just a really neat girl and not often you
can truly say someone was so genuinely
hearted ... She was a lot of fun.” Mr
Harper, who set up the fundraising page
with Mr Thomas’ brother Christopher,
said there were few avenues available
to accumulate funds for a funeral for
He said the only immediate family
member left was Laura.
“So rather than just leaving it on Laura’s
back, a lot of friends have rallied around
and thought it was a good idea to get a
Givealittle page.” It is understood the
twins’ parents are no longer alive.
“ We’ve lost one of our very close friends,
we’re a family and she doesn’t have family.
“Her dad passed away ... before she got
to meet him, her mum died ... and her and
her twin are the last ones left and we are
her family, and we’re here to do whatever
we need to do,”another friend, Zach D u
According to a police media statement,
the couple’s car collided with another on
State highway 1 when one attempted to
turn right into a driveway.
Last night, Mr Thomas, who was driving
the car, was still in hospital recovering
Sophie and Laura featured in the 2012
television show Missing Pieces in a bid
to track down their father, who had left
their mother before they were born. Their
father had actually died eight years earlier
but the girls instead discovered they had
an older half-sister, Nicky Sikora.
— N ZM E -New Zealand Herald
crash kills sister
The 15-year-old schoolgirl at the centre
of a fracas over a provocative speech says
she never had a problem with the teacher
she delivered it to.
Anela Pritchard, a Year 10 student
at Napier Girls’ High School, made a
school speech to her class that claimed
her teachers needed to work harder
rather than “sit around and do nothing”.
She e-mailed teachers copies of the
speech and posted it on her Facebook
page, where it continues to gather
thousands of likes and shares.
But Anela said yesterday at a specially
arranged press conference it was not
aimed at the classroom teacher, who
took it personally and left the room “very
“ I have never had a problem with her
before and I actually do like her,” she said.
Tomorrow was to be Anela’s last day
of school but she has decided not to go
back. She is moving to Sydney where she
is enrolled in school and will live with her
“ I don’t really think going back to
school is the best thing right now.
“A lot of teachers and students now
strongly dislike me and I didn’t want to
put myself in that situation, where it is
everyone against me,” she said.
The teenager’s comments have ignited
debate over the merits and flaws of the
Many have applauded her for speaking
her mind and drawing attention to what
they see as problems.
Others have defended the profession
and pointed the finger at wider issues,
including teacher exhaustion, relatively
poor pay, a lack of resources and a limited
pool of qualified candidates.
— N ZM E -Hawke’s Bay Today
Outspoken student moves to Aussie
Laura, left, and Sophie Langston.
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