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Wally Haumaha belittled female staff - IPCA

A report by the police watchdog finds deputy commissioner Wally Haumaha acted unprofessionally and belittled two women staff.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority report, released on its website today, found that Haumaha at times acted improperly during a high-pressure government project in 2016.

The report clears Mr Haumaha, who was promoted to deputy commissioner in May, of several complaints about his behaviour but goes on to find he acted poorly on at least two occasions.

In one incident, it concludes he acted inappropriately and unprofessionally for a senior executive and his behaviour was belittling and humiliating.

The report looks at several incidents in which Mr Haumaha and staff members were working on a project. It finds in two incidents that his behaviour was justified or was not unreasonable.

The report says that it finds some of Mr Haumaha's behaviour was "inappropriate and unprofessional" in two complaints but was not clearly workplace bullying.

A third complaint focused on whether he acted improperly in approaching staff to support him to refute allegations about his conduct. In this case, the report concludes that he did.

"By making such requests, he was implicitly asking staff to support him, and he failed to consider the impact of his requests on the staff concerned.

"Staff were made uncomfortable by DC Haumaha's requests and did not feel that they could safely refuse without being seen by him or by (another employee) as disloyal, with consequent repercussions for career progression.

"DC Haumaha acted improperly by asking two staff members to solicit support on his behalf."

Opposition leader Simon Bridges said: "It was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who appointed Wally Haumaha. She now has to take responsibility and dismiss the man that she appointed to one of the most senior and powerful roles in the country."

Mr Haumaha was appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendations of both the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Police Minister Stuart Nash.

His rise to the top ranks has been under a cloud ever since survivors' advocate Louise Nicholas went public with her reservations about Mr Haumaha's appointment given comments he had made defending police officers accused of rape in 2004.

Last month, a government inquiry into Mr Haumaha's appointment to deputy police commissioner concluded the process was 'adequate and fit for purpose'.

Stuart Nash's office said it will make a comment on the report later today.

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