Criminal background checks for people in positions of trust should not be treated as just another cost to be cut, says Labour's Police spokesperson, Mana MP Kris Faafoi.
"National has put a tourniquet around the Police budget which has seen resources focused on areas for potential cost-savings like background checks and event security.
"Police Minister Anne Tolley's argument that this is to better support our frontline police plays Kiwis for fools.
"While the argument that police checks benefit private users is true in some cases, for the most part they ensure public safety and confidence in public services and the people we put in positions of trust in every community.
"Our kids study at local libraries, swim in public pools and take local buses. New Zealanders expect that they are in safe hands with librarians, lifeguards and bus drivers who have previously agreed to under-go background checks.
"Costs cannot be a barrier to proper checks and ratepayers shouldn't have to pick up the tab on a region by region basis.
"The real question, as I have said before, is why a proposal like this has been mooted at all.
"The answer is short-sighted policy from a government that is putting our police force under enormous financial pressure," Kris Faafoi said.