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Broad denies he was pushed

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Howard Broad
Howard Broad

By Kate Chapman of NZPA

Wellington, July 1 NZPA - "I was not pushed," Police Commissioner Howard Broad says.

He announced last night he would not be seeking a second term.

Today he shot down media reports that he was forced out.

Mr Broad said he told Police Minister Judith Collins several months ago that he would not be seeking a second term.

They spoke again early last week and Mr Broad reinforced that he would not stay on.

Ms Collins thanked him and they discussed the processes around finding a new commissioner.

Mr Broad said he was firm on that position he would not stay and had written to the State Services Commissioner to advise of his decision.

The Police Commissioner's role was a demanding one and five years was an appropriate term, he said.

He said he was very proud of the achievements police made during his term.

"I was not pushed.

"I made the call, with the minister, months ago."

Ms Collins did not have the option to persuade Mr Broad to stay on because he has made the decision to go, he said.

The role had put a lot of pressure on himself, his family and his health, Mr Broad said.

"I was pretty focused on completing one term. I didn't want to stagger on bit by bit, I have a clear programme of work that I set out to undertake."

Mr Broad said he was not the police commissioner who would reap the benefits of things implemented during his tenure.

"I knew that the job was having severe personal impacts, it was having impacts on my family and I thought that the completion of the five-year term was the right thing to do," he said.

"There is the unique experience of carrying a cellphone with you 24-seven, whether you are in the country or out of it, that goes at very regular intervals with every piece of disaster, tragedy, every police officer that gets into trouble, every major inquiry that's made of the police and you are expected to be right across that and be able to converse and interact on that at any time."

Being Police Commissioner was frustrating, he said.

Mr Broad said he loved the police organisation and its people and believed there were many talented people who could step up to the role.

"I wear this uniform knowing that I've worn it from the age of 17, I love the fact that I'm a police officer, I think this is the grandest mission of any organisation in the country, how else can you have such a grand opportunity to deliver public service than through an organisation that sets out to make people safe and secure?"

Ms Collins said Mr Broad had had many notable achievements and had brought an understanding of frontline policy to the job.

"As his watch draws to a close, the New Zealand Police are better trained, better equipped and better able to tackle crime than at any other time."

Ms Collins said the job was "incredibly demanding" and required enormous commitment.

She said she respected Mr Broad's decision and thanked him for his considerable contribution to the police.

Mr Broad, a 35-year police veteran, was appointed commissioner in 2006.

Born in 1957, he joined the police as a cadet in 1975 and later graduated with a law degree from Victoria University in Wellington.

He said he would now write a book about the war service of a close relative and take more time to spend with his partner, Robin, and family.

"I'm still a young man," Mr Broad, 53 said.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said he thought Mr Broad was a good commissioner but was still unhappy with the 2007 terror raids on Maori and other activists.

"I don't think the Tuhoe episode was well done... I'd rate him up the top. I think he's been pretty understanding (of Maori), flexible, well more understanding really cause of the way he's dealt with our leaders and of course I had him in Auckland and have seen him first hand. We recommended him actually to be the commissioner."

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