14 Aug 2018

Police investigate contact between Wally Haumaha and staff member

6:32 pm on 14 August 2018

Police have confirmed they are investigating contact between Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha and a staff member in relation to bullying allegations.

Wally Haumaha

Superintendent Wally Haumaha. Photo: SUPPLIED

An independent inquiry into the process for Mr Haumaha's appointment, led by Mary Scholtens QC, is due to get under way in a week.

Wally Haumaha's appointment in June has been surrounded with controversy.

Comments he made in 2004 defending three police officers accused of rape were made public, and allegations he bullied women he worked with were raised in Parliament last week.

The New Zealand Herald today published claims that Mr Haumaha had contacted a witness to one of the bullying incidents.

In a statement released to RNZ, police said its executive was made aware on Friday of contact between Deputy Commissioner Haumaha and a staff member in relation to bullying allegations.

"This will be investigated and we are currently seeking further information about what has occurred to determine what steps are required.

"The Police Executive, including DC Haumaha, recognise the need to ensure that there is an appropriate level of independence to any investigation of all the matters raised in the media recently, including this most recent allegation. "

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was hugely frustrated with the situation the government had found itself in.

"I am, and I remain that way, but it is for me to make sure that we deal with this properly and appropriately.

"I do want to bring in some independence to that process and that's what I've done."

Ms Ardern said if the inquiry came back showing the government did not have the information it needed when the appointment was made, the matter would be referred to the State Services Commissioner and the Solicitor General.

Meanwhile, New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has taken a swing at police over the amount of information being leaked to the media, saying it is a mare's nest.

Mr Jones said the fact that so much information was dribbling out to the media from police did not reflect well on them.

"There's a lot of pressure there at the cops at the moment, but I don't know of a single MP who feels relaxed about the frequency of these leaks and if I have the opportunity to reflect those concerns to the commissioner, I will, because people are concerned out in the community. They've raised it with me."

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