Opposition parties have been quick to condemn the cutting of 125 non-sworn police staff, saying it will turn frontline staff into paper-pushers.
Police Commissioner Peter Marshall says the cuts are being made as police try to live within their means.
He said the cuts shouldn't be too difficult to achieve as there were more than 3000 non-sworn staff and 75 vacancies were listed.
But New Zealand First police spokesman Richard Prosser says it would see frontline police focused on administrative duties instead of responding to callouts.
"They will be tied up doing endless paperwork instead of being out catching criminals who cause havoc around the country," he said.
"Police will have to prioritise call outs. It will end up in even bigger delays for those affected by crime."
Green Party police spokesman David Clendon agreed the cuts would turn police into paper-shufflers.
"New technology is welcome but it will not make up for staffing cuts of this magnitude.
"This move directly undermines the police's 'prevention first' strategy, which was meant to see police spending more time engaging with communities and victims."
The cuts announced on Friday come two months after Assistant Commissioner Viv Rickards admitted to a select committee that police needed to find $470 million to pay for a predicted staff pay increase over the next four years.Mr Marshall said some file management, human resources and finance functions were being centralised and managers were asked to find savings of 3 per cent in their operational budget and the 4 per cent in the budget for non-sworn personnel before the end of the year.
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