December 09, 2019
Haumaha blocked from top police job
The Police Maori, Pacific and Ethnic Forum is questioning the process for appointing the next commissioner after deputy commissioner Wally Haumaha was eliminated after the first round.
Forum member Neville Baker says the selection panel, which includes State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes and his deputy, former Social Welfare head Dame Margaret Bazley, Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett and an Auckland lawyer, does not reflect the obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Mr Haumaha’s elimination is seen as political, in light of sustained media and political attacks after his appointment as deputy commissioner.
But a review of that appointment process by Mary Scholtens QC found no truth to allegations he expressed support for former colleagues found guilty of historic rape charges.
His performance as deputy commissioner in managing the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings and the Ihumātao occupation, as well as his record in defusing potential flash points such as the annual Waitangi Day commemorations, seem to have been ignored.
"Somewhere along the line here there's been a major injustice. What it does is it gives us a lack of confidence in the system to be able to believe that the system is capable of appointing our people to positions and to overlook some of the side issues that have occurred through the media and through other commentators in regards to who should be the police commissioner," he says.
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