Dr Pauline Kingi has done the right thing in stepping down as Chair of the inquiry into Wally Haumaha’s appointment as Deputy Police Commissioner but the Government must explain how she was appointed in the first place, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Dr Kingi is a well-respected public servant and her integrity is not the issue. It’s the appointment of Dr Kingi as Chair of this inquiry that has been called into question, given her public endorsements of Mr Haumaha.
“It was clear when these LinkedIn endorsements were revealed that Dr Kingi would not be able to lead a truly independent inquiry into Mr Haumaha’s appointment.
“Dr Kingi appears to have recognised this and has done the right thing by stepping down. But the Government should never have put her in this position in the first instance and must now explain how this happened.
“If it had done its due diligence properly, it would have been clear that Dr Kingi had an unequivocal conflict of interest and was not the right person to lead this particular inquiry.
“The Government must now go back to the drawing board and appoint a truly independent person to chair the inquiry.
“Let’s not forget what this inquiry is looking into – Mr Haumaha made highly questionable statements about serious allegations made against his friends in the Police, which were apparently not known to Ministers before they signed off on his appointment.
“The public must have confidence in the Government’s appointment process for such senior positions in the New Zealand Police.
“But what this mess shows is that this Government cannot organise itself, which doesn’t instil much confidence in its ability to run the country.”