Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted there was some confusion surrounding police's summer road safety campaign and has acknowledged that police should have been clearer about what speed levels would be enforced.

This comes after the campaign was widely criticised by the public and other agencies, with many calling it ambiguous and confusing.

Today, Mr Bush said he had listened to public feedback on the summer road safety campaign and hoped police would learn from the experience.

Read more: Police Minister orders speed-blitz inquiry


"Retaining public trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police is critical and underpins the principle of policing.

"Future road policing campaigns will have clear messaging and public support for our important work to ensure the safety of New Zealanders on our roads."

Mr Bush said he acknowledged there was some confusion about messaging surrounding the summer road safety campaign.

"The purpose of the campaign was to save lives on our roads; however some members of the public have told us that our messaging was not clear enough around what speed levels would be enforced. I acknowledge we should have been clearer.

"We should have been explicit that speed cameras were set for usual holiday tolerance of more than 4km over the limit and that roadside officers would continue to use their discretion in stopping people driving over the speed limit, but would focus on unsafe driving behaviours."

Mr Bush said police staff used their discretion appropriately over the summer campaign.

He said as of yesterday, only 14 tickets were issued for speeds of between 1-4km over a speed limit, compared with the 13 tickets that were issued throughout the same period during the December 2013-January 2014 campaign.

Mr Bush said there would be review of the messaging in the Safer Summer campaign, and outcomes of the review would be incorporated into future campaigns.


Earlier this week, Police Minister Michael Woodhouse admitted he had concerns over the summer speed enforcement message before it went public, saying it was confusing and ambiguous.

Mr Woodhouse said he had not intervened in the campaign as it was police operation.

However, Mr Woodhouse has asked police to officially review the public messages that underpinned the road safety campaign.

"Police share my enthusiasm for clearly articulated safety messages that maintain public confidence and I want to be sure we have those messages clear," he said.

Seventeen people were killed on the roads over the Christmas-New Year, more than double the 2013-14 toll.