Was Haumaha the preferred candidate?

The Herald reports:

Wally Haumaha was appointed Deputy Commissioner in May in a statutory appointment that is singed off by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

In reality, applicants were assessed by a panel comprising State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes, Deputy Debbie Power and Commissioner Mike Bush, and they sent a short-list of two to Police Minister Stuart Nash.

This is an aspect the media have not focused on much.

The report doesn’t say Haumaha was the preferred candidate. Just that he was on a short-list of two.

Did the independent panel determine that Haumaha was the preferred candidate or was he in second place, and was he personally chosen by his “mate”, the Minister.

I the independent inquiry covers this issue.

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