Beleaguered Police Commissioner Peter Doone has agreed to retire early, although he will continue to be involved with the police in the short term, the Prime Minister has announced.
At a press conference in Parliament, Ms Clark said that the cabinet had agreed that Doone's early retirement was the best way end any possible impression that there were “two standards” of the law”.
Mr Doone’s resignation has been predicted since an incident in November when he and his girlfriend Robyn Johnstone were stopped at a police checkpoint.
After Doone’s conversation with an officer the couple were allowed to drive off without the driver Ms Johnstone being spoken to or breath tested.
Ms Clark said that while inquiry into the incident had concluded that no alcohol was involved, Mr Doone’s interaction with the constable was nevertheless undesirable and created a “climate of doubt” about the issue.
The Prime Minister said Mr Doone in his time as commissioner had done much valuable work for the Police Department.
He would be given six months more contract work to combat Maori crime as Maori leaders had given testimonials that he was doing good work in this area. Reducing the gap between Maori and Pakeha was a primary objective of the Government, Ms Clark said.
Mr Doone will formally relinquish his position on the 29th of February this year.