Tim Dower: Wally Haumaha inquiry must be about the person, not the process

Author
Tim Dower,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 4 July 2018, 6:51AM
Wally Haumaha is facing an inquiry after comments he made about Louise Nicholas resurfaced. (Photo / NZ Herald)

This row about the appointment of Wally Haumaha to the role of Deputy Police Commissioner carries on.

As you probably know, it's morphed now into a row about who's running the review of the decision to give him this job. This is all about shifting the stage a little bit and moving the goal posts.

Apparently, Haumaha sought to run as a New Zealand First candidate some time back now in 2005.

So the idea his job appointment should be reviewed by a current New Zealand First MP, Tracey Martin, has upset the National Party. This despite Ms Martin being the Internal Affairs Minister.

Why isn’t the Police Minister reviewing this? He had a hand in the whole business in the first place, so he has to step back a bit, I guess.

She says there's nothing inappropriate about her heading the inquiry, and the inquiry is into the processes the State Services Commission went through. 

Feel the smoke swirling now around this? Feel the clouds gathering?

It's not an inquiry into the person, and this is where we're getting the wool pulled over our eyes.

Ms Martin will have her inquiry, and to borrow a phrase, I'll give you dollars to donuts she'll come back and say the SSC did a great job.

Nothing wrong with the way they went about it, nothing to see. And in fact everyone involved should probably get a big pay rise and probably will. The Deputy Commissioner keeps his job and we all move on, because this was not an inquiry into a person, it was an inquiry into a process.

And that’s where this was wrong. This is not about a process, this about whether we've got the right individual in the role of Deputy Commissioner. It is about whether it is ok for someone who quite happily tried to defend people who he knew at the time were in prison, if that person is the right person for such a powerful role in the police.

And I think we all know the answer to that.

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