Broad Bows Out.

I cannot say that I regret the news that Howard Broad is ending his tenure as Police Commissioner. Regardless of what positives he brought to the job–and I know that certain people on the Left think that he is a great guy who can do no wrong–for me he is to the NZ Police what Richard Woods was to the NZSIS: a person who allowed overtly political criteria to intrude on what should have been autonomous decision-making based on assessments of real threat and practical priorities. Just like Wood’s disgraceful behaviour in the Zaoui case, Broad was the man at the helm during the Urewera raids, raids that just happened to be timed to coincide with the final reading of the revised (and more draconian) Terrorism Suppression Act and which targeted well-know dissidents who, whatever their crazed (or intoxicated) rhetoric and antics in the bush, were as far removed from a terrorism plot as are medieval war reenactment societies. Broad is the man who has lobbied in favour of expanded (domestic) surveillance and search powers for the Police and other state agencies. Broad is the man who ran the show at a time when a culture of criminal abuse within the Police was exposed, only to preside over a corporate whitewash of the culture rather than a wipeout of it. Truth be told, Broad was handpicked for the job by the Labour leadership  because of his ties to the party, and given the position when his  (less compliant) predecessor committed a personal  indiscretion that cast doubts on his professional judgement. In sum, Broad may be a nice guy in person, but under the 5th Labour government he allowed his political masters to exert too much influence on the Police as an institution, IMO.

All of which makes Pita Sharples’ tribute to Howard Broad, particularly his honoring Broad for services to the Maori community, as sickening a piece of political syncopathy as has been seen in recent years. On this one, I think Hone Harewira is right: the less said the better.

Having stated my view, let me also state that I do not believe that National will do anything to diminish the politicisation of Police decision making. In fact, Key and co. could well make it worse.

3 thoughts on “Broad Bows Out.

  1. Could well?
    I’d be wagering definitely will if the super city and Ecan are any sort of way marker as to their political direction!

  2. How significant is it who the top cop is? Several “Batman” movies back one character says “this town’s so bent who ya gonna rat to”. And it is like that with NZ police, they are part of the state superstructure with ever increasing powers of search and surveillance. Not to mention a rancorous culture, some rather nasty compliance devices and tactics, and several odd special ops squads.

    Broad was probably as ‘cuddly’ a boss we are likely to see. And even he got tagged for alleged bestiality home movie shows and epic grog ups earlier in his career.

    The cops deal with gruesome bits of life most of us prefer not to but their requisite political and corporate support role means the new “Chief Gordon” will likely be worse.

  3. Broad was probably as ‘cuddly’ a boss we are likely to see. And even he got tagged for alleged bestiality home movie shows and epic grog ups earlier in his career.

    Had forgotten about this. How risible do the suggestions that Shane Jones’ political career is over look in that pink-hued, flickering light?


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