Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald's investigations editor.

Protection staff overworked: Survey

Prime Minister John Key values his "extremely professional" protection staff highly.
Prime Minister John Key values his "extremely professional" protection staff highly.

The elite policing unit charged with protecting the Prime Minister and VIPs has revolted over long hours and poor recognition.

In the latest policing employment survey, feedback scores from the Diplomatic Protection Squad were among the lowest across the entire force.

Just 5 per cent of DPS members surveyed said they had the resources needed to do their jobs. And just 20 per cent said the police were interested in their views or opinions.

NZ Police Association president Greg O'Connor said a recent review had addressed the pressures.

"They have been a group that has been under the hammer just with hours and resources. For what they have been required to do, there simply wasn't enough of them."

The employment survey showed just 15 per cent of DPS staff believed their work was valued by the police.

Labour's police spokesman Kris Faafoi said the results showed a high level of use of the DPS by John Key.

"It shows how much the PM has stretched them."

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said police made decisions on DPS staff assignments.

"The Prime Minister highly values his protection staff who are extremely professional and very hard working in sometimes challenging circumstances."

- NZ Herald

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