17 Jun 2015

Amnesty for Maori drivers wrong - Police boss

8:43 pm on 17 June 2015

An amnesty for Maori drivers caught without a licence in South Auckland should never have happened, the Police Commissioner says.

An instruction to Counties Manukau police, which has been in place for 18 months, said all Maori drivers caught without a licence or in breach of licence conditions should be given two months to fix the problem before they're fined.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said he had no idea how many times officers in South Auckland may have given unlicensed Maori drivers preferential treatment, and not fined them.

Mike Bush said he only found out about it in the last few days, and it should never have happened.

He said it did not reflect policing nationwide and the fairness the police stand for.

"All of our policy and all of our strategy relates to all New Zealanders, it's not focussed on one demographic, it's not favouring one against the other," he said.

Mr Bush said the district commander was looking into it to see if it had been applied and if so how many times and under what circumstances.