Vetting the Vetting Service: The Case for a Statutory Framework for Police Vetting in New Zealand
56 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2020
Date Written: 2019
The activities of the New Zealand Police Vetting Service are often little understood. However, the Vetting Service fulfil an important public function of protecting vulnerable members of society from the risk of harm. To do so, the Vetting Service have the power to disclose information which the Police and Ministry of Justice hold on record about an individual, including non-conviction information (that which has not been tested before a court of law), to a range of agencies, such as prospective employers of licensing bodies. This necessarily has serious consequences on the privacy rights of the individuals concerned. At present, police vetting is conducted in the absence of any guiding legislation. In 2016, the Independent Police Conduct Authority recommended consideration be given to the development of a legislative scheme for vetting. This paper renews this call to action, and seeks to understand why, from a legal perspective, a legislative scheme is necessary. Having done so, it then seeks to provide recommendations as to the form and substance of the statutory framework advocated for.
Keywords: "police vetting", privacy, "human rights", "statutory framework"
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation