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Iwi leaders want Haumaha back on job

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A member of the Police Commissioner’s Iwi Leaders Forum says there should be no impediment to deputy commissioner Wally Haumaha resuming full duties now the Independent Police Complaints Authority has released its report.

Neville Baker says he’s pleased the authority dismissed a complaint Mr Haumaha had bullied some members of a joint justice sector task force working on improving Māori outcomes, even though it found he acted inappropriately and unprofessionally in a couple of incidents.

The iwi leaders put more weight on the report last month by Helen Scholtens QC, which found the process to appoint Mr Haumaha had been done properly.

He says the authority, Judge Colin Doherty, turned down an offer from the leader to give a submission on Mr Haumaha’s work practices and the work he has done for Māori.

"We also had offered to give some cultural perpective to the IPCA which was not accepted either so we are very disappointed in terms of that second inquiry. We believe that the first inquiry by QC Mary Scholtens is the one our people should be responding to," Mr Baker says.

He says Wally Haumaha’s appointment was seen as a recognition of the work that is needed within the police and justice system to change outcomes for Māori.

The Independent Police Complaints Authority was responding to complaints laid because of public attention on Mr Haumaha after victim’s advocate Louise Nicholas spoke out against his appointment.

An independent review found there was no substance to Ms Nicholas’ claims and there was nothing in them that should have been brought to the attention of the Police Minister in appointing Mr Haumaha.

The authority, Judge Colin Doherty, said the complaints stem from a joint working group in 2016 involving Police, Justice and Corrections.

A policy analyst from Corrections claimed Police were taking over the project and Mr Haumaha was not acknowledging other members of the team.

Judge Doherty dismissed her first two complaints about alleged incidents where she felt she had been bullied.

But he found fault over a third incident on May 5, where Mr Haumaha said the analyst took exception to him talking on behalf of the project and started yelling and screaming and shaking uncontrollably.

He reported the incident to Corrections the next day.

Judge Doherty says the two stories are difficult to reconcile, but he found while the analyst contributed to the argument, Mr Haumaha was determined to assert his authority and did so loudly, aggressively and argumentatively.

He also found Mr Haumaha’s behaviour at a meeting three weeks later, were he asked team members to say they were committed to the project, was inappropriate and unprofessional but did not constitute bullying.

The judge also criticised Mr Haumaha for approaching fellow police staff this year for their recollections about the incidents, even though he was doing so on the advice of his lawyers.











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