The Herald reports:
Police Commissioner Mike Bush knew Louise Nicholas had raised concerns about Wally Haumaha in the past – but did not raise the issue during the appointment process for the deputy commissioner role as he thought it had been resolved.
That decision was reasonable in the opinion of Mary Scholtens QC, whose report released today cleared the appointment process of any fault.
While Nicholas’ concerns about comments attributed to Haumaha were understandable, wrote Scholtens, there was no evidence unearthed in Operation Austin to say Haumaha had done anything wrong.
Haumaha denied saying police should “stick together” when Nicholas first accused a trio of police officers of raping her, and doubted he would have described her allegations as “nonsense”.
While Nicholas’ concerns had been raised with Bush as far back as 2015, by Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement, Bush he believed they had been resolved amicably after seeing them talking in 2016.
When Haumaha was promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2017, Nicholas did not raise any issues with Bush.
So he did not think it relevant to raise them during the appointment process for Deputy Commissioner earlier this year.
“He thought they had been resovlved
Well he was wrong, wasn’t he.
The inquiry was extended from six to 11 weeks when Scholtens asked for more time to consider allegations of bullying against Haumaha reported by the Herald.
Three women walked out of Police National Headquarters in June 2016 and refused to return because of Haumaha’s alleged behaviour.
Scholtens considered the 2016 allegations in her inquiry, but only in terms of what information was potentially available during the recruitment process which led to Haumaha’s appointment in May.
A second inquiry by the Independent Police Conduct Authority is now investigating formal complaints laid by two of the women.
At the end of the day a decision will need to be made about whether Haumaha continues on as Deputy Commissioner. Only one person can make that decision – the Prime Minister who appointed him.