President's Column: Acknowledging the significance of the role

NZPA - Chris Cahill | Tue November 1st, 2016

Preparing to write my first column as your new President, I knew I must acknowledge the significance of the role as well as the professional and personal challenges it will bring in the next three years.

These were highlighted as I walked around the Association’s National Office and saw meeting rooms dedicated to the wonderful men and women who have established and enhanced the Association and Welfare Fund over the past 80 years.

The vision and foresight of those pioneers and the legacy they began is a great reminder of the responsibility I have taken on.

Working through the transition with Greg O’Connor, whose own contribution to the Association is immeasurable, I am filled with enthusiasm for the opportunity to add a small piece to that legacy, with the clear goal of enhancing the welfare of all members.

The importance of the role was emphasised to me when I attended the Police College for the graduation of Wing 300 and, later, spoke to new entrants in Wing 302, talking to them about the value of membership of the Association and the Welfare Fund. It was a reminder that I am a guardian of what has gone before and what will come in the future, and that my duty is to members past, present and future. Remembering that will keep me grounded and focused on what is important.

As I have stressed in the media since my appointment, the biggest issue for the Association and the membership right now is the urgent need for an increase in staffing and to ensure it is focused in the right areas.

We have already received commitments from two political parties and we will continue to work to ensure the best possible outcome for staffing numbers so our members are able to protect and serve their communities to the high level they all wish to achieve.

In future columns I will go into more detail about the issues affecting our members and our response to them.

I am committed to strong and diverse representation across our activist network to ensure that members’ views are heard. I will be working closely with our committees and my very supportive board to make sure we have representation that brings the diverse perspectives that are vital to our credibility and relevance, which are the strengths of our organisation.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the coming months and welcome your input and advice, which will give me the strength and support to meet the challenges ahead.

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