20 Jun 2012

Minister grilled over police budget

2:03 pm on 20 June 2012

Police Minister Anne Tolley has told a parliamentary committee that police are not facing a budget cut, despite being pushed by Labour's Phil Goff who said costs had risen more than the budget.

Mrs Tolley appeared before Parliament's Law and Order committee on Wednesday.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall and Police Minister Anne Tolley.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall and Police Minister Anne Tolley. Photo: RNZ

The session began with a demonstration complete with an array of drugs and a search by a police dog.

Mr Goff complained, saying that was merely a distraction and cut down the time for questioning the minister by nearly half an hour.

In a testy exchange, he put it to the minister that the police budget was increased by $8.9 million but costs had gone up by $24 million.

Mrs Tolley replied "that's life Mr Goff" and said how the police spend their money is up to them.

"It (the police budget) has received the same amount of money that it received last year," she said.

"Yes but costs have gone up," Mr Goff interjected.

The minister refused to answer questions about how much extra pressure a new wage round for police will put on the budget, saying she didn't want to compromise the current negotiations.