Bay of Plenty will have 125 more police officers, as part of 1800 extra police deployed nationally in the next five years.

The extra staff will be partly funded by $298.8 million allocated in Budget 2018, which built on increased police funding announced by the National Government in 2017.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said 1280 of the new staff will be deployed to districts and 520 will be in national roles aiming to counter high-level organised crime, break national and international drug supply chains and to train, support and co-ordinate local teams to prevent harm.

"There are currently 340 recruits training at The Royal New Zealand Police College, with 80 more starting every four weeks. We have record numbers of applications, but we are still keen to hear from quality applicants," Bush said.

Deployment of 1800 new police staff. Image / Supplied
Deployment of 1800 new police staff. Image / Supplied

Bay of Plenty District Commander Andy McGregor welcomed the announcements.

"This allocation will make a big impact on resourcing the front line and investigations, and targeting organised crime and drugs," Superintendent McGregor said.

"Further staff will be allocated to prevention roles in Youth, Family Harm, Community, and Crime and Drug Prevention. This boost in staffing levels will enable us to be more responsive to our communities, be a lot more visible and really start to target those drivers of demand, thereby preventing more crime and keeping our communities safe."

The district was also establishing a Precision Targeting Team to focus on priority and prolific offenders, to reduce crime such as burglary, car crime and robberies.

"Organised crime and drugs are a major issue for Bay of Plenty District, driving a lot of violent and dishonesty offending in our communities," Superintendent McGregor said.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay said the 125 officers announced for Bay of Plenty included 69 officers National announced last year.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay. Photo / File
Rotorua MP Todd McClay. Photo / File

"It's not 125 on top of our 69," he said.

He said as part of that 2017 announcement, National allocated 20 extra officers to Rotorua within three years.


"Five years will be too long to wait to ensure our streets remain safe," he said.

All 12 District Commanders and their leadership teams are now finalising the number of new staff for each station.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said, "I am particularly gratified that the smaller regions and provinces have been allocated significantly increased police resources under the Commissioner's plan.

"Some of our most neglected provincial areas are finally getting the attention and support they deserve."

Criminal justice research organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa said there was "no reason" to believe New Zealand had a shortage of police.

Spokeswoman Emilie Rākete said: "The problems we face in our communities are poverty, desperation, and deprivation. New Zealand is experiencing record low crime rates. More cops will not improve conditions in our communities."

She said the announcement was contrary to the Government's promise of reducing the prison population.

"Put simply, more cops means there will be more people in prison."