Police are overhauling its public affairs and communications divisions in order to "deliver more consistent" service to the media and its staff.

Changes include disestablishing a number of communications staff roles both at a district and national level.

Police deputy chief executive public affairs Karen Jones announced the changes this afternoon.

"This follows consultation with affected staff and a survey with almost 300 responses from journalists and their news organisations," she said.


"The survey of news organisations undertaken by police earlier this year and a benchmarking review found an inconsistent approach to media relations and communications across police.

"While there was some positive commentary, there was also a large amount of dissatisfaction expressed with the current model, which is largely unchanged in recent years despite very significant changes in the media environment."

Ms Jones said police were experiencing a "significant" increase in media and social media requests, reflecting the evolving media and online landscape and the move to centralised news functions and the 24/7 news cycle.

"To address this changing demand police is moving to a more centralised and extended media servicing model, with Public Affairs hubs based in Wellington and in Auckland," she said.

"The change will see a seven-day-a-week media relations and social media service being established from early 2016. The service will operate from around 6am to 9pm, with communications centres and an on-call system handling urgent media issues outside these hours as currently occurs.

"In order to make these changes, the current district-based communications roles and some Police National Headquarters roles are being disestablished or changed and a number of new roles are being created in Wellington and Auckland."

She said the aim of the changes was to enable a more responsive and consistent service for police staff and media which better meets their evolving needs.

"It is not proposed to change the current arrangements enabling police staff to talk to media on matters they have responsibility for," she said.


"Police has by far the largest media demand of any government agency and this change reflects our commitment to communicating effectively through media and social media on issues which matter to our communities."

The new structure would also reflect how equivalent police jurisdictions, particularly in Australia and the UK, managed their communications and media relations but Ms Jones assured the local changes would retain arrangements which reflect New Zealand's own media and policing environment.