Are the strategies of policing excellence and prevention first a new approach to police service delivery in New Zealand?

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Originally Published In

Policing: Strategies, Management and Potential Risks, Publisher: : Nova Science Publishers, Editors: J. Ingram

Page Numbers



Since the 1980s the New Zealand Police have attempted to introduce a number of extensive change management programs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their core services: Project Blueprint, Policing 2000, Policing Excellence and Prevention First. The latest change management programs ‘Policing Excellence and Prevention First’ arose from three circumstances that were placing pressure on the delivery of policing services: (1) the impact of the 2007 global financial crisis on public sector funding and budgets; (2) unsustainable increases in demand for police services; and (3) the need for police to modernise, coupled with opportunities to lift productivity, for example, through the better use of technology. The New Zealand Police’s operating environment had become increasingly complex in the decade prior to the 2007 global crisis. Crime however, was declining, but the actual social cost of crime was increasing. The New Zealand Government viewed the situation as unsustainable as the increasing costs were placing a heavy burden on the wider Justice Sector, with Justice Sector costs increasing 79 percent between 1999 and 2009. At the same time, there was an increasing demand for police services, which reflected the changes in social, demographic and economic conditions. In response to these pressures, the New Zealand Police identified a number of organizational improvement opportunities that could increase productivity and deliver efficient, sustainable services. These opportunities were developed and implemented under the two separate programs called Policing Excellence and Prevention First. This chapter will describe and examine the programs, and how successful they have been since their introduction in 2009-2010.