Prime Minister unhappy over the “Wally Haumaha behaviour”

Police Commissioner to follow-up issues raised

Wellington, December 21, 2018

Deputy Police Commissioner Wallace (Wally) Haumaha

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted the legal advice from the Solicitor General on the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report on Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha that there is not a clear and proper basis to support his removal.

But she said that she was “very disappointed with the inappropriate behaviour attributed by the IPCA to Wally Haumaha.”

Assurance sought

Ms Ardern said that she has sought an assurance from the Police Minister that the Commissioner of Police follow up on the issues raised in the report and ensures this Government’s expectations are met.

“My expectation is that the Police maintain the highest standards of professionalism and show respect both for the public and everyone working with them at all times,” she said.

Unprofessional and inappropriate

Solicitor General Una Jagose had said in her detailed advise that IPCA found some of the behaviour complained of was unprofessional and inappropriate.

“Other behaviour complained of was found to be acceptable. But it is significant that the IPCA did not conclude it was bullying, as defined, even though it acknowledged some of the behaviour was consistent with bullying as that term is understood in common usage: paragraph 185. The IPCA recognised the particular inter-agency project from which the complaints arose was under considerable pressure,” she said.

Serious concerns

She said that on the third complaint the IPCA had concluded that approaching staff for support was improper, because it made them uncomfortable and concerned about career progression.

“So too disseminating information about “Team member A” was improper. The findings should be taken seriously. They do not reflect well on the Deputy Commissioner. However, they are properly of a nature and gravity that the Police Commissioner can and should deal with them as behavioural expectations,” she said.

Police accept findings

In a separate press release, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said that the Police accepts the findings of the IPCA.

The IPCA has investigated three complaints and concluded that Deputy Commissioner Haumaha’s behaviour did not constitute bullying, the press release said.

Mr Bush said that while the investigation did not find evidence of bullying, the report has raised issues which he is taking seriously.

“These are matters that I will deal with as Police Commissioner. I expect high standards from all my staff, especially members of my Executive. The IPCA report clarifies a number of matters that have been traversed in the media in recent months,” he said.

An independent Inquiry completed in November found that the process followed to appoint the Deputy Commissioner was sound and that there was no available and relevant information omitted from the process.

“It is good to now have both the IPCA report and Inquiry completed. The independent examination of all matters raised has been an important process,” Mr Bush said.

Indian Newslink

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