'Gifts' to New Zealand Police revealed

Author
NZ Herald staff,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 2 October 2017, 4:51PM
The most popular gifts were alcohol, vouchers and event tickets. (Photo / NZ Herald)
The most popular gifts were alcohol, vouchers and event tickets. (Photo / NZ Herald)

A food hamper, neck ties and supermarket vouchers were among the gifts received by Canterbury Police District staff over the past 12 months.

A central register is used to record gifts and hospitality offered to police employees.

Booze was a popular choice of thank you. Sport Canterbury gifted two bottles of wine.

A bottle from Timaru Boys' High School's hostel was accepted, then donated to a local retirement home. And shortly before Christmas last year, one grateful individual gave $400 of alcohol to a Christchurch detective.

Other items included four neck ties and a business card holder from the Chinese consulate-general, a $50 supermarket voucher from the city council (that police staff used to purchase items for a food bank), a drinking flask and two matching travel mugs, also from the city council, and a $150 restaurant gift card from Rangi Ruru Girls' School's parent teacher association.

Only one offering was declined and returned in Canterbury - a $75 supermarket voucher from a member of the public.

The police policy statement on gifts, discounts and hospitality says "key considerations" include how acceptance might affect impartiality, police reputation and public perception.

"Gifts should be declined unless they are of nominal value or refusing them will cause embarrassment or offence."

Nationally, a range of international organisations gave presents to police, including the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Five Eyes law enforcement group, Michigan State University and the Taipei Ministry of Justice.

In the year to June, New Zealand police received 217 gifts, of which 31 were declined and returned.

The most popular gifts were alcohol, 38, followed by vouchers, 29. Event tickets, restaurant meals and food also featured highly. Along with golf towels, desk clocks and paperweights, there were some more unusual items across the country.

These included two bags of horse feed from the Lake Hayes A&P Show committee, five massage vouchers for stressed-out police staff in Wellington, 20 free tickets from Weber Bros Circus, a Chinese New Year kit and a "bag of biscuits" from an Auckland individual.

And top of the list in terms of value were five watches marked with the King of Jordan's insignia, worth $3200. Advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade dictated the watches be accepted, but due to their high value, the recipients made personal donations to non-police charities.

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