Police are "dismayed'' that 125 jobs will be cut in what is being called a "fine-tune'' of staffing.

Commissioner Peter Marshall this afternoon announced that the job cuts, all from the ranks of non-sworn support employees, were necessary if the police organisation wanted to live within its means.

He revealed that no cuts would be made to frontline services.

However, Police Association president Greg O'Connor said police were "a bit dismayed'' at the news.


"The police are in good shape at the moment, we've been through a lot of pain to get where we are,'' he said.

"What is galling is that Government know that their policies bring this about and yet they still make greater demands on the Commissioner to do more with less,'' he said.

"If Government want to give police less, then they should expect less, but they won't.''

Mr O'Connor said police understand that every department in Government is having to make decisions like this but that "the work won't go away''.

"Nobody wants to be spooking horses but New Zealanders aren't stupid, someone's got to do the work,'' he said.

Mr Marshall insisted the job cuts would not affect the way front line staff do their job, nor the police budget.

"I want to stress that there is no intended reduction in the constabular headcount and frontline service delivery will not only continue to be maintained but will be enhanced,'' he said.

"Such changes need to be seen within the context of over 3000 non-sworn positions. The majority of those 3000 positions would be untouched.


"In terms of non-sworn support staff positions that will be impacted, we expect that the number will be around 125. However, the organisation was carrying around 75 vacancies so the task would be achievable with a minimum of difficulty.''

Labour's police spokesman Kris Faafoi said the assurance that the cuts will have no impact on the front line is "nonsense''.

"The police this year face significant budgetary pressures and increased costs. No increase in their budget will mean that our officers on the front line will be going backwards,'' he said.

"Essentially, National is making frontline cuts because cops will have [to] waste precious time doing paperwork when they should be out protecting the community and solving crime.''

Mr Faafoi said the decision means police will be buried in paperwork when they should be out on patrol.

"It's going to be even tougher for our police to maintain their high level of service to our communities. And that will have a real impact on New Zealanders.''

The cuts come in response to the ordering of police cost managers to make savings of three per cent in operations and four per cent in non-sworn staff costs.

At a select committee hearing in March, assistant commissioner Viv Rickards admitted police would need to find $470 million in the next four years to fund a predicted three per cent staff pay rise.

More details about the cuts would be available within the next two months, Mr Marshall said.