Tracey Martin must stand down as head of the inquiry into the process for Wally Haumaha’s appointment as Deputy Police Commissioner following revelations of more close links between Mr Haumaha and NZ First, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Revelations that NZ First’s Deputy Leader Fletcher Tabuteau is related to Mr Haumaha, that Mr Tabuteau’s uncle and close friend of Winston Peters, Tommy Gear, is a senior leader of the marae chaired by Mr Haumaha, and that Mr Peters spoke at an event at the marae last year to celebrate Mr Haumaha’s promotion to Assistant Police Commissioner make it untenable for Ms Martin as a NZ First MP to have anything to do with this inquiry.
“This follows earlier revelations that Mr Haumaha was selected as a NZ First candidate for the 2005 General Election.
“That link alone was enough to make Ms Martin’s appointment as Minister in charge of the inquiry completely inappropriate, but with the emergence of even more close ties between Mr Haumaha and NZ First there is no way Ms Martin can possibly continue in the position.
“This matter is simply too important to be tainted with any suggestion that the inquiry lacks independence. The public must have confidence in the appointment process for senior positions in the New Zealand Police but so far the inquiry has been nothing short of a farce.
“Just last week, the Chair of the inquiry Dr Pauline Kingi was forced to stand down after it was revealed she had endorsed Mr Haumaha 23 times on LinkedIn.
“Now it looks like Ms Martin will be the next to stand down. It is imperative she does if the Government is truly committed to ensuring that the inquiry is completely independent and there is no perception of any conflicts of interest.
“To avoid the inquiry becoming a complete waste of time and money, Cabinet must replace Ms Martin with a non-NZ First Minister and appoint an independent QC as Chair.”