Controversy over inquiry into controversial appointment of deputy police commissioner

The appointment of Wally Haumaha as Deputy Commissioner of Police has become quite controversial, first sparked by strong criticism from victim supporter Louise Nicholas, and now through NZ First’s involvement in an inquiry into the appointment,

NZH: Louise Nicholas ‘hit the roof’ when Wally Haumaha appointed as deputy police commissioner

Louise Nicholas has worked for years to help change police culture but called for a crisis meeting when Wally Haumaha – friends of the men she accused of raping her -was appointed deputy commissioner.

New deputy police commissioner Wally Haumaha questioned why Louise Nicholas publicly accused his friends in the police of raping her in the 1980s and continued to support them after the scandal broke, according to interviews with fellow officers.

One officer told the 2004 Operation Austin investigation into the police sex allegations that Haumaha, who was appointed to the senior role by Police Minister Stuart Nash last month, described Nicholas’ allegations as “a nonsense” and that “nothing really happened and we have to stick together”.

Nicholas, who now works with the police advising new recruits and supporting victims of abuse, was so angry to hear of Haumaha’s appointment that she demanded a meeting with him and Commissioner Mike Bush to voice her opposition.

“I didn’t hold back. I said ‘I’ve read your statement, Wally, and I know what you said. You put it out there about how wonderful these men were’,” said Nicholas.

Police Minister Stuart Nash has been dumped inadvertently into a difficult situation. RNZ:

Police Minister Stuart Nash said while he was was unaware of Mr Haumaha’s comments, he did know Mr Haumaha had been interviewed during Operation Austin.

“The comments are deeply disappointing and are unacceptable. DC Haumaha has learned from that and has gone on to do substantial and worthwhile work to improve the safety of women and youth.”

On Friday Deputy Police Commissioner issues apology for comments made about Louise Nicholas rape case in 2004

Today the Deputy Commissioner apologised for comments he made in 2004. His full statement is below.

“I want to acknowledge the concerns expressed by Louise Nicholas and others around my comments from 2004 regarding Operation Austin.

“It is important to say outright that I take responsibility for those comments, I deeply regret them, and I unreservedly apologise for the hurt and concern they have caused.

“That does not reflect my view or the values I bring to the job every day.

“In the 14 years since those comments, and particularly through the changes following the 2007 Commission of Inquiry, I have reflected deeply and often on what it means to live the values that New Zealanders rightly expect from their police.

“I recently met with Louise to assure her of my commitment to the work the organisation has done as a result of the Commission of Inquiry to improve our culture, and our service to victims of sexual assault.

“My previous association with those individuals does not reflect who I am now nor what the NZ Police stands for today.

“The culture of NZ Police has changed for the better in recent years as a result of the Inquiry and an ongoing commitment to our values, but there is still more work to do.

“My focus is on working tirelessly in NZ Police to build the trust and confidence of our communities.”

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters followed up: Government to hold inquiry into appointment process of Deputy Commissioner of Police

“Cabinet will consider the matter on Monday to determine the specific details of the inquiry and its terms of reference,” Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said today.

But this has created further controversy. RNZ: National Party’s outcry over appointment of NZ First MP to inquiry role

National is crying foul after the Internal Affairs Minister and New Zealand First MP Tracey Martin was picked to oversee an inquiry into the appointment of the deputy police commissioner.

The party alleges it is a conflict of interest, given Deputy Commissioner of Police Wally Haumaha himself put his hand up as a New Zealand First candidate in 2005.

His appointment to the senior police job is being scrutinised following revelations he stood up for three of his colleagues accused of rape in 1993.

The inquiry:

“Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin will initiate a government inquiry into the process. The terms of reference will focus on the State Services Commission’s appointment process,” Mr Peters said.

The inquiry will investigate whether all the appropriate information was gathered by the State Services Commission during the appointment process and if not, why not.

It will also look into whether that information was provided to ministers – specifically the police minister – who officiated the appointment.

The criticism:

National’s police spokesperson Chris Bishop questioned Tracey Martin’s appointment to the inquiry role.

“Well hang on a minute, how can we have a New Zealand First minister overseeing a process that is looking into potential conflicts of interest around a possible New Zealand First candidate? I really don’t think that passes the sniff test.”

The New Zealand Herald has newspaper clippings from August 2005 that show Mr Haumaha was announced as the party’s candidate for Rotorua at a local event.

Just four days later the same paper reported the now-deputy leader of New Zealand First Fletcher Tabuteau would instead be running that year.

Peters has just been interviewed on RNZ about this and is in his usual combative attacking/defensive mode.

It would be better if NZ First were not involved in the inquiry, but Peters looks determined to do it his way.

 

22 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  July 3, 2018

    Mikey had some fun with Winston this morning. I personally see no problem here. Louise Nicholas runs the risk of becoming a shrill. Wally Haumaha belongs to my generation of Kiwi men whom had a different attitude towards women. Far too many took sexual liberties with women, and they weren’t above giving the missus a clip so she knew her place.

    I doubt Wally Haumaha’s attitude has changed that much. But he realises the world has changed as his well crafted PR bullshiite acknowledges.

    • Gezza

       /  July 3, 2018

      Just listened to that Hosking interview with the APM. A masterful performance from Peters, played with a straight bat.
      http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/audio/winston-peters-acting-pm-declines-to-judge-wally-haumaha/

      • Corky

         /  July 3, 2018

        At 3.30 on Mikey made Winston breath hard. The thing is, Mikeys in Haumaha’s corner.

        • Gezza

           /  July 3, 2018

          I don’t think Mikey knew about Wally’s missus being a crim. Mikey’s maybe not as great on the research as he is on shooting his mouth off?

          • Corky

             /  July 3, 2018

            I will make a prediction now. Within ten years time Mikey will be knighted for services to broadcasting. You heard it first, here.

            • Gezza

               /  July 3, 2018

              Saint Sir John Campbell will beat him to it.

            • Blazer

               /  July 3, 2018

              yes he’s right up there with…
              Sir Isaac Newton.
              Sir Earnest Rutherford
              Sir Edmund Hillary….and….

            • Gezza

               /  July 3, 2018

              Sir Mad Butcher
              Sir Paul Holmes the Massively Overpaid & Overrated
              Sir Bob The Whinger
              Sir John The Sellout

    • duperez

       /  July 3, 2018

      Your doubting that Haumaha’s attitude has changed but simply has well crafted PR bullshite, doesn’t mean Haumaha’s attitude hasn’t changed. It means you have an opinion based on absolute speculation.

      • Corky

         /  July 3, 2018

        Correct. Sometimes people change because they have to change. Sometimes people change because of introspection and realisations. I believe in Haumaha’s case it’s the former. However, as you say, that is speculation, and I may be wrong.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 3, 2018

        I’m with duperez, witholding judgement in the absence of sufficient evidence.

    • Grimm

       /  July 3, 2018

      I’m from that generation as well. But I’ve always known right from wrong. I never had a “different attitude” towards women. That’s just pathetic. Louise Nicholas is right on this, Haumana should be kicked to touch very quickly.

      I knew well two of the men involved with these giuys in the 1989 rape at Mt Maunganui. They were lifeguards, it was a disgusting episode. Many people knew the way that “the three” treated women in Rotorua, I would bet anything that Haumana did to.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 3, 2018

        The court decided that Louise Nicholas was a liar.

  2. Blazer

     /  July 3, 2018

    Gee Wally really wants this …pay packet!

    • Corky

       /  July 3, 2018

      Being Maori is probably the only thing keeping him in a job.

  3. Gezza

     /  July 3, 2018

    From the Herald:

    “Rotorua Daily Post archives from August 2005 show that Haumaha was announced as the New Zealand First candidate at a meet-the-candidates event in Rotorua. A short time later Fletcher Tabuteau, now the party’s deputy leader, was named as the candidate.

    It emerged the next month, after a suppression order against Haumaha’s wife was lifted, that she had gambled away money set aside for his 2005 campaign.

    According to the Post’s report of the court case, she had stolen about $24,000 from the bank where she worked to replace the missing campaign funds.

    Haumaha had been an inspector at the time.”

    This is just a really, really bad appointment & it might be time for Mike Bush to seriously consider retiring.

    • Gezza

       /  July 3, 2018

      Audrey’s effort

        • Blazer

           /  July 3, 2018

          squeaky Bridges calling for an inquiry!…Doesn’t want political appointments.
          Now let me see…who did Key appoint as head of the GCSB …not his old mate Fletcher!…have more.

          • Gezza

             /  July 3, 2018

            Speaking of which, did you watch The 5th Eye last night?
            https://yournz.org/2018/07/02/open-forum-monday-185/#comment-287759

            Very interesting indeed. The 3 Catholic sickle vandals were actually just a sort of teaser to what it was really all about. Their adventures on that fateful night were something of comedy of errors. They’re an oddball crew, but then they believe the Bible so you know they’re not all that bight.

            The doco showed why the government suddenly decided not to pursue them for costs after the Appeal Court upheld the decision they were liable. Once Snowden revealed what GCSB was actually up to, which had previously been denied.

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