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Auditor-General must keep monitoring Police

Auditor-General must keep monitoring Police

The Auditor-General must continue to regularly report on Police culture and conduct in light of the troubling events of 2018 – specifically the Wally Haumaha saga, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Today the Justice Committee considered the final report by the Auditor-General into the 2007 Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. However, in light of the Wally Haumaha saga and the concern around its impact on Police culture, it is important that this reporting is continued.

“In 2007 the Government of the day asked the Auditor-General to report regularly on the response of the Police in terms of the culture for ten years. Today’s report is the final report and is dated 12 December 2017.

“Officials confirmed this morning they have not considered any of the events of 2018 in compiling the most recent report, including the appointment of Mr Wally Haumaha as Deputy Commissioner of Police.

“Many current and former officers have told me they are concerned about the appointment of Mr Haumaha as Deputy Commissioner and the impact it will have on the reputation of the Police force. They are concerned his appointment may set police culture back and potentially discourage victims of sexual assault from reporting crimes.

“The NZ Herald reported in June that an officer told the 2004 Operation Austin Inquiry, which sparked the Commission of Inquiry, that Mr Haumaha had described Louise Nicholas' allegations as ‘nonsense’ and that ‘nothing really happened and we have to stick together.’

“Louise Nicholas has been reported as having ‘hit the roof’ when Haumaha was appointed as Deputy Commissioner, and she has been quoted as saying of the police, ‘without the right leadership, without the right attitude towards women, they can tumble backwards.’

“Mr Haumaha has also been accused of bullying behaviour by three women who worked with him on a cross-agency justice project. The Independent Police Conduct Authority is now investigating and a State Services Commission Inquiry could still be launched, in addition to the Mary Scholtens QC Government inquiry.

“It is critical that the New Zealand Police lock in the gains of the last few years and do not slide backwards. Mr Haumaha’s appointment puts that at risk and the Auditor-General must continue to monitor their culture. I have written to the Minister of Police to ask him to encourage the Auditor-General to do just that.

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