A new focus on attending burglaries will mean crime-fighting in other areas will suffer, says Police Association president Greg O'Connor.
Police Minister Judith Collins on Monday announced home break-ins had been raised to a priority offence, meaning they would all be attended.
She said the new policy meant victims could now expect either a police officer or a crime scene officer to arrive within a reasonable time.
Mr O'Connor says it's been tried before.
"It's a good idea, however the reason we stopped doing it is that we didn't have enough people to do it," he told RNZ.
"And now there's no more people and yet we're going to have to do it again, so something else is going to suffer."
He said that would probably be organised crime and drug policing, which were the cause of most burglaries anyway.
There are about 35,000 burglaries a year.
Meanwhile NZ First leader Winston Peters says people will have been shocked to learn that until now police hadn't been officially required to attend burglaries.
Mr Peters says people know police often don't turn up to burglaries "but they will be appalled that the Government, which has severely under-resourced the police, has officially been giving burglars a virtual green light to go and rob their homes".
He says it's a basic requirement that homes are protected, and that hasn't been happening.