Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The bigger crime?

When the police appointed Wally Haumaha as Deputy Commissioner, there was a public outcry over his dirty past comments about police rape. But the National party aren't concerned about that. Instead, they've found a bigger scandal: that he was once a potential NZ First candidate:

National leader Simon Bridges says the inquiry the Government is setting up into the appointment of the deputy police commissioner is unsatisfactory and Tracey Martin should not oversee it.

Bridges said it should be broad enough to include whether proper disclosures were made to the Cabinet about Wally Haumaha's former association with New Zealand First.

Martin, the Minister of Internal Affairs, was a senior New Zealand First official and it was inappropriate that she be involved, he said.

"I think this is incredibly serious," said Bridges.

Really? Really? They have a situation with the police appointing a rape-apologist, and National are concerned about which party they didn't run for over a decade ago? I think there's a problem with perspective here. Not to mention values.

Meanwhile, in reality, police officers run for election all the time, and are subject to the same provisions as other state servants: if they're candidates, they get placed on a leave of absence, if they're successful they automatically resign, and if they are unsuccessful they go back to work. The law forbids discriminating against candidates for their political views, and their rights as a state servant "shall not be affected by his or her candidature". Trying to deny them a promotion ten years later on the basis of an aborted political candidacy seems to violate that.

I think Haumaha should be sacked. But he should be sacked for being a rape apologist, not for exercising his democratic rights. If there is a serious question whether he has acted politically in his role, then that's a question for his employer under the police code of conduct. But at the moment, it looks like national is desperately flailing around to find anything to comment on besides the elephant in the room.