28 Oct 2010

Auckland campaign group complains over police role

12:10 pm on 28 October 2010

A group of local body election candidates in Auckland has formally complained about what it says was the political involvement of the police in a rival campaign.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority is considering the complaint, which involves campaign material distributed by the Manurewa Action Team and Papakura First, in the battle for seats on two local boards.

Colleen Brown from the rival Team Manurewa says newsletters included photos of officers posing with candidates, a candidate who is also a police officer talking about her work, and candidates talking about their family ties to the police.

Mrs Brown believes the material breaches police codes of conduct which require them to be politically neutral.

She won a seat on the Manurewa board and says she has not yet decided whether to challenge results in boards where the Manurewa Action Team and Papakura First won most of the seats.

Assistant Police Commissioner Alan Boreham will meet Mrs Brown and the other complainants on

Thursday, but his office will make no comment saying it may be purely an employment issue. The Manurewa Action Team is not commenting.