Consultation open on police vetting process

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NZ Police are seeking feedback on proposed legislation for the Police vetting process.

There is currently no legislative framework governing the Police Vetting Service. The Government is considering introducing an amendment to the Policing Act 2008 that would create a legislative framework.

NZ Police are currently consulting the public. They have published a consultation document. This sets out a number of issues related the process. For each issue there are specific questions the public can provide feedback on.

The closing date for submissions is 13 July 2018.

Police Minister Stuart Nash said:

“New legislation would provide greater clarity and certainty about the purpose and functions of the Police Vetting Service and what type of information may be disclosed. It would also enable greater consistency in the way Police handle vetting requests and could lead to greater efficiencies through less duplication and timelier processing of requests."

In 2015/16 NZ Police initiated a joint review of the Vetting Service by the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. In the report The Police Vetting Service: A joint review by the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (2016) the first recommendation was "Consideration should be given to developing a clear statutory framework for vetting."

Background information

The New Zealand Police Vetting Service provides criminal history checks and other relevant information on potential and current employees, volunteers and vocational trainees to Approved Agencies that provide care to "children and vulnerable members of society"

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 introduced additional screening and vetting procedures for people working and volunteering with children. For more information see our previous stories:

Children's Action Plan launches guidelines; trials Viki, AISA and The Hub

Vulnerable Children Bill passes into legislation

Select Committee hears submissions on Vulnerable Children Bill

Screening and vetting for child abuse