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

Garth Den Heyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Since the 1980s, the New Zealand Police have attempted to introduce a number of change management programs to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of their core services, including: ‘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) the unsustainable increases in the demand for police services; and (3) the need for the police to modernize and lift productivity 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. The crime rate, however, had been declining, but the actual social cost of crime was increasing. The New Zealand Government viewed the situation as unsustainable as the escalating costs were placing a heavy burden on the wider justice sector, with those costs increasing 79 percent between 1999 and 2009. At the same time, the demand for police services had increased, which reflected the changes in the social, demographic and economic conditions. In response to these pressures, the New Zealand Police identified a number of opportunities that could potentially increase productivity and deliver efficient, sustainable services. These opportunities were developed and implemented under two separate programs: ‘Policing Excellence’ and ‘Prevention First.’ This chapter will describe and examine these programs, and will discuss their successes and challenges since their introduction in 2009.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicing
Subtitle of host publicationstrategies, management and potential risks
EditorsJessie Ingram
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781634853873
ISBN (Print)9781634853699
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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