The Independent Police Conduct Authority has heavily criticised the police for releasing files on unproved charges against the broadcaster Tony Veitch, saying the case has wider public implications.
Veitch made a plea bargain and admitted a charge of injuring his former partner Kristen Dunne-Powell with reckless disregard, while six other charges were dismissed.
The police released a bundle of over 350 documents to media in May 2009 after requests under the Official Information Act.
Tony Veitch's lawyer complained, saying if his client knew the unsubstantiated information would be released, he would have defended the claims.
The Authority has found the the police action was was unjustified and undesirable.
It says the officer in charge failed to consult with Veitch or his lawyer about the release of the information, because of the work pressure he was under.
The Authority details a number of other problems with the way issue was handled, and recommends police consider making a public apology.