9 June 2009 Media Statement
Lee makes false claim on community constable
National’s Mt Albert candidate Melissa Lee is politicising police and misleading Mt Albert voters by claiming credit for
obtaining a community constable in Avondale, says Labour law and order spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“Melissa Lee chickened out of a candidates’ meeting last night in favour of attending a Neighbourhood Watch meeting in
Avondale West, and took the new community constable along with her to try to prove she was getting things done as a
buddy MP for the electorate,” Clayton Cosgrove.
“She completely distorted the situation. The confidence and supply agreement signed in December 2005 between Labour and
New Zealand First provided for 1000 extra frontline police, 250 of them community constables.
“One of these 250 community constables is the new community police officer in Avondale. Melissa Lee had nothing to do
with creating the position or providing the funding to fill it. She wasn’t even in Parliament when the decision was made
to recruit the extra community police, and she wasn’t around when New Zealand Police instituted a new and improved style
of community policing in this country.”
Clayton Cosgrove said: “It would be charitable to attribute her misleading comments to her desperation to do well in the
by-election, but this is just another example of National cynically trying to exploit the law and order issue.
“Just last week Police Minister Judith Collins dishonestly claimed that National is funding 600 new police, when 380 of
these extra police were actually funded by Labour and were being recruited under Labour.
“Now Melissa Lee has repeated that dishonest claim about the 600 extra police, and has also falsely claimed the Avondale
constable as her work. Once again she is showing how little she thinks of the intelligence of Mt Albert voters. They can
see right through her,” Clayton Cosgrove said.
“What really takes the cake is that National maliciously and dishonestly claimed that police had become politicised
under Labour. How much more political can you get than taking false credit for extra police numbers, and then taking a
constable with you to a meeting for nothing more than political purposes.”