Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What the Haumaha inquiry is about

From the moment it was revealed that new Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha was a rape-apologist, it was clear that he had to be fired - and that outcome only looks more likely with the new revelations about his bullying and apparent attempt to pervert an internal inquiry. And now, the Prime Minister has given the first hint that that's what's going to happen:

Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha could be replaced depending on the outcome of an inquiry into his appointment, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Ardern said on Tuesday she was frustrated at the handling of Haumaha's appointment and wants the matter addressed quickly.

"But I also want to get it right and that's why we have an independent person assisting us," Ardern said.

Ardern is being dishonest here, in that whether Haumaha was a suitable candidate is explicitly outside the scope of the inquiry. She can and should sack him today if she wanted. The inquiry is about whether the appointment panel was both adequately informed and adequately informed the Minister about Haumaha's background - not whether Haumaha should be sacked, but whether Police Commissioner Mike Bush should be as well.