Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin must own her error in handpicking Dr Pauline Kingi to chair the inquiry into the process that led to Wally Haumaha’s appointment as Deputy Police Commissioner, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Ms Martin today admitted in Parliament that she had 10 candidates to choose from and decided on Dr Kingi who as it turns out had previously endorsed the subject of the inquiry she was appointed to chair.
“Given the inquiry is looking into the process that led to Mr Haumaha being appointed as Deputy Police Commissioner, it is deeply ironic that the process that led to Dr Kingi being appointed as Chair of that inquiry was itself a shambles.
“Ms Martin should know how important it was to get this process right.
“In fact, shortly after Dr Kingi’s appointment was announced, Ms Martin said publicly, ‘I know for me particularly the process is everything. Process makes sure that there can't be accusations or even incidents of corruption’.
“If the process truly is everything to Ms Martin, then she and her officials would have done their due diligence properly and realised that Dr Kingi’s public endorsements of Mr Haumaha showed there was, at the very least, a perceived conflict of interest.
“The situation Ms Martin now finds herself in, with having to find a new Chair after Dr Kingi stood down following the revelations that she had endorsed Mr Haumaha, is entirely of her own making.
“It’s time for Ms Martin to stop blaming others, own her mistakes and get the process right.”