Saturday, April 22, 2023

Tim Dower: Andrew Coster needs to take responsibility for the mistakes made at Parliament

The Police Commissioner was a little slippery in his response to the report on the Parliament Grounds riots yesterday.

Andrew Coster's statement was gushing in its praise of the frontline officers, as it should have been.

They ended up facing a raw and violent confrontation which was completely avoidable if police top brass had done their job.

There's a glaring contradiction in the Commissioner's statement.

Coster says he wouldn't have done anything differently, but then a couple of lines later he says he's committed to implementing all the IPCA's recommendations.

Recommendations which say, in summary, you balls'd it up, mate.

I won't quote chapter and verse from the entire document as it's over 200 pages, but here's the common theme that emerges when you plough through the whole thing.

Planning. A lack of planning and a lack of understanding in even how to go about planning the police response.

There are a couple of stand outs; right at the start the report shows there was evidence on February 8th that the protesters were planning for a long stay.

At that point it was a very small group, a landing party if you like, but even then there was information in the public domain suggesting protesters were planning for an extended stay - catering plans had been made for 500 people a week.

Police were aware of it, but took no action.

There's criticism of the first attempt to clear the grounds. The IPCA says this failed because of, you guessed it, poor planning and a lack of bodies and equipment.

When it came time for the final push, a two-day workshop was held to work out how it would be done.

The NZDF sent support staff to help. Their comment was that police had little understanding of how to plan a complex activity of this nature.

They said the plan was superficial, lacked significant detail, and not much thought was given to the protesters’ reactions.

On the day, officers themselves described the operation as 'shambolic' and some say they feared for their lives.

150 police were injured - some pretty badly.

The Commissioner and his chiefs need to take responsibility for that and the string of cock-ups that lead to it.

Tim Dower is a New Zealand journalist who works for Newstalk ZB as a newsreader and substitutes talkback announcer. This article was first published HERE


Anonymous said...

NZ Police are about hugs and korero - their latest advance is a woke Police Station in Tāneatua with no cells - the "design decisions were led by an external reference group, including iwi and other community partners"

Meanwhile NZ sinks in a sea of meth

Anonymous said...

The word whitewash is the only accurate way to describe the report. The entire situation would've been diffused if politicians met with what had been a group of peaceful protestors in the truest sense. The police should have refused to intervene and let the politicians continue to sweat. In doing their dirty work the politicians have learnt nothing and remain disconnected from those they are supposed to be representing.

Anonymous said...

The politicians know exactly who they serve, as the pay great homage to THE TREATY.