Labour MP Stuart Nash is disputing claims he quoted an incorrect number of police staff cuts as part of the relocation of police headquarters.

Police said yesterday that Mr Nash had incorrectly claimed 100 staff would be lost from the new Napier police station when new stations are built in Hawke's Bay later this year.

"That number is totally wrong," Eastern District Commander Superintendent Sandra Venables said.

"This is misleading information and gives an unbalanced view of Hawke's Bay policing," she said.


Mr Nash has said he did not say Napier would lose 100 frontline staff.

He claims he said that numbers at the Napier police station would drop from 85 to 68.

Figures from a Napier police station business case show Napier station currently holds 85 staff, Mr Nash said.

The new station, a $5.5 million satellite station, will accommodate 68, with a maximum at any one time of 41 staff.

Mr Nash said Napier would lose the 89 staff at district headquarters as it is proposed to move all these to Hastings, as well as the 17 which equated to 106 staff.

Or, he said, Napier would lose the 89 police and another 44, made up of the current 85 as the maximum in Napier is 41.

"Now, I don't know how many frontline staff this equates to, but it does mean there will be over 100 workers moving from Napier to Hastings. That's a pretty significant hollowing out of an important group of employees from our CBD."

Those numbers correlate with statements from Ms Venables.

She said there would be 68 frontline staff based at the Napier station, down from the current total of 85.

The 17 positions would be moved to either the new Hastings station and district headquarters or other community stations in the area.

New stations will be built in the two cities and work has already begun on demolishing outbuildings on the Napier station site. The new Hastings station will incorporate Eastern District Headquarters, which employs around 90 staff. Ms Venables said those staff were mostly administrative and service centre staff, who did not work on the frontline.

She said numbers of staff based at particular stations was not an accurate gauge of the level of service provided to a community. "Policing has moved forward a lot in recent years and we are now a mobile force. Our staff are equipped with mobility devices that allow them to work out of the office more and to be available to respond to jobs all over the region.

"We don't want our staff to sit behind their desks all day - we want them out and about in the community more and interacting with the public. Police work has changed and mobile technology means staff can work from any location, which means specific station numbers are less relevant," Ms Venables said.

Mr Nash is hosting a public meeting next month with Napier Mayor Bill Dalton to address concerns.

The meeting will be held at the Napier City Council on April 3.