New allegations about Wally Haumaha means the Deputy Commissioner now has no choice but to stand down while he’s being investigated, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“There are now allegations of Mr Haumaha contacting an important witness to an alleged bullying incident after the Herald started asking questions, which shows that it’s not appropriate for him to be in the role while the investigation is taking place,” Mr Bishop says.
“There must now also be an assurance that the government inquiry into Mr Haumaha’s appointment as Deputy Commissioner will protect witnesses otherwise it won’t to get to the truth.
“I understand a number of officers wish to give evidence to the inquiry, but they are rightly concerned about their identities and job positions being kept confidential, for fear of possible consequences down the track when the inquiry reports back.
In order to get to the truth, the inquiry must institute some form of protected disclosure regime, and do it quickly.
“The Prime Minister cannot express confidence in him. There were new allegations last week of bullying and the latest allegations of him contacting important witnesses. This role is too important for him to remain in while an inquiry is happening, for the sake of trust in the Police he must stand aside,” Mr Bishop says.
Revelations about bullying and intimidation by Wally Haumaha against three female public servants are deeply troubling and raise further questions about Mr Haumaha’s appointment as Deputy Police Commissioner, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Today’s revelations, alongside earlier reports that Mr Haumaha described serious allegations surrounding his friends in the Police as ‘nonsense’, risks undoing all the work Police have done to regain the public’s trust and confidence in the way Police treat women.
“Complaints of bullying and intimidation made against Mr Haumaha by the three women were passed to senior Police who consulted officials at the Ministry of Justice and Department of Corrections where the women were employed.
“But it appears nothing was done to address the concerns and Mr Haumaha has since gone on to climb the ranks to one of the most senior positions in the Police.
“Given these new revelations, the Prime Minister, Police Minister and Police Commissioner must explain whether they continue to believe Mr Haumaha’s position is tenable. Questions must also be asked of all three about what they knew and when.
“And the Internal Affairs Minister must explain whether the terms of reference of the inquiry into the process for Mr Haumaha’s appointment will be expanded in light of the revelations.
“This is a very serious matter. All women should be able to feel like they can go to the Police with any issue they have to report and that they will be taken seriously.
“Over the last decade, Police have worked hard to rebuild their reputation but the promotion of Mr Haumaha to one of the most senior roles in the Police has begun to undo that hard work and the rot needs to stop.”
Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin’s suggestion that she is automatically responsible for appointing a Chair for the inquiry into the process that led to Wally Haumaha’s appointment as Deputy Police Commissioner is false and she must step aside, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Ms Martin’s refusal to step down as head of the Haumaha inquiry on the basis that she is the Internal Affairs Minister and therefore responsible doesn’t stack up with the fact that not one other Internal Affairs Minister has led any other inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2013.
“There is no law that states the Internal Affairs Minister must be the appointing Minister for every Government inquiry. Appointing Ministers for Government inquiries are assigned by Cabinet and can be any Minister.
“A quick scan of recent inquiries reveals the Attorney-General was put in charge of the Havelock North drinking water inquiry, while under this Government the Health Minister was given responsibility for the mental health inquiry.
“There’s no reason why Attorney-General David Parker couldn’t be put in charge of the Haumaha inquiry.
“Not only has Ms Martin proved she is not equipped to handle an inquiry of such importance as the Haumaha inquiry, after bungling the appointment of Dr Pauline Kingi as Chair, but Mr Haumaha has close ties to NZ First of which Ms Martin is also a senior member.
“The public won’t be able to trust that the inquiry is truly independent if Ms Martin continues to be involved. She must step aside or Cabinet must make the decision to replace her.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Dr Pauline Kingi must be immediately stood down as Chair of the inquiry into the appointment of Wally Haumaha as Deputy Police Commissioner following revelations she has endorsed him on LinkedIn 23 times, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Dr Kingi has publicly endorsed Mr Haumaha on LinkedIn for 23 skills, including leadership, crime prevention and stakeholder management.
“In fact, she has endorsed him for every skill Mr Haumaha has listed – in some cases she is the only person to have endorsed him for a particular skill.
“Dr Kingi cannot possibly lead an independent inquiry into Mr Haumaha’s appointment.
"There is a clear and unequivocal conflict of interest, and the Government should never have appointed Dr Kingi in the first instance.
“If the Government is truly committed to an independent inquiry, it must stand Dr Kingi down immediately and appoint a new Chair.
“The Government must then look into the process that led to the appointment of Dr Kingi as Chair of the inquiry, which is deeply ironic given the inquiry is looking into the process that led to the appointment of Mr Haumaha as Deputy Police Commissioner.
“It took three weeks for the Government to announce Dr Kingi as the Chair of the inquiry – what were they doing?
“Clearly something is not right in the way this Government does its due diligence and that needs to be urgently addressed.
“This inquiry has been a shambles from the start and nothing about it suggests it will be independent and comprehensive. The Government has some serious explaining to do.”
National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says Wellington Police are being overzealous and heavy-handed in objecting to the liquor licence renewals of bowling clubs in the region.
“New Zealanders should be able to enjoy a beer or two with friends at their local bowling club, and for years they have without incident.
“It’s concerning that this could soon become a thing of the past, with several bowling clubs across Wellington now in a battle with Police to renew their liquor licences.
“Police do have a tough job dealing with alcohol-related crime, but targeting bowling clubs and other sports clubs is not the way to tackle the issue.
“I understand that internal police research shows that these licenced clubs have accounted for almost zero alcohol-related issues in the last five years.
“It seems that Police are being overzealous in its interpretation of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and should take a more common-sense approach.
“Instead of a blanket ban on liquor licences, Police would be better to target individual clubs that have had a history of alcohol-related incidents.
“Clubs like the Whitby Bowling Club, which has not had a single liquor licence issue in 40 years, should not be punished. The coalition agreement to ‘commit to a serious focus on combatting organised crime’ surely couldn’t have meant the Whitby Bowling Club.
“It is ridiculous that places like the Island Bay Tennis and Squash Club and the Wellington Bridge Club are also having to fight the Police on this.
“Police are highly respected in our communities but they should rethink their approach to liquor licences and allow responsible sports clubs to continue serving alcohol.”
The terms of reference of the inquiry into the appointment of Wally Haumaha as Deputy Police Commissioner do not go far enough and as a result the inquiry is likely to be a $150,000 waste of time, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“The inquiry was announced by Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters over three weeks ago following revelations that Mr Haumaha had made highly disappointing comments about serious allegations made against his friends in the New Zealand Police.
“Twenty-four days after the inquiry was announced we finally have a Chair and terms of reference, but the inquiry won’t come close to getting to the nub of the issue.
“The inquiry avoids the two central issues in this whole debacle – what did Police Commissioner Mike Bush know about Mr Haumaha’s comments? And secondly, what were Police Minister Stuart Nash and Cabinet told?
“Instead the inquiry focuses on the State Services Commission.
“Hanging over the inquiry is the issue of whether Mr Nash and Cabinet would have made a different appointment had they known about Mr Haumaha’s comments. That too is ignored.
“The inquiry also avoids looking into the potential conflicts of interest of Mr Haumaha’s appointment under a Labour-NZ First Government, given he was once selected as a candidate for NZ First to run in the 2005 General Election.
“The appointment of Tracey Martin, a NZ First Minister and party insider, as minister in charge of the inquiry is still wholly inappropriate. If Mr Peters wanted to prove that there was no conflict, surely this inquiry would be his opportunity to put the issue to rest.
“The inquiry will take six weeks at an estimated cost of $150,000, yet it appears New Zealanders won’t be any closer to having answers by the end of it.”
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters is either genuinely confused or he has deliberately made false statements to media today that the mental health crisis call response pilot had come to its end, National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“Mr Peters needs to get his facts straight – not only has the pilot not come to an end, it hasn’t even had the chance to get off the ground thanks to his Government.
“The $8 million pilot was announced last year as part of the National Government’s $100 million mental health package and was due to start this September.
“Designed by experts, it would see mental health nurses attending mental health incidents alongside police and paramedics and was universally supported – except by the Labour-NZ First Government which has chosen to scrap it.
“Either Mr Peters hasn’t bothered to get up to speed, or he’s deliberately made the false claim that the pilot has ended because he knows the public, police, paramedics, and mental health experts all want the pilot to go ahead and are angry the Government has axed it.
“For a Government that claims to take mental health seriously, it’s got a funny way of showing it. First it axes potentially game-changing initiatives, then misleads New Zealanders about it.
“Perhaps the most troubling thing about this is that this is by no means the first time Mr Peters has made a false claim to media and the public. Just a few weeks ago, he claimed there was more than one prison forecast report to cover up for Kelvin Davis’ incompetence.
“New Zealanders expect better from their Acting Prime Minister, and from a Government that claims it will be the most transparent, open government ever – sadly that too is looking like a false claim.”