Head of inquiry into Wally Haumaha endorsed him on LinkedIn

Wallace (Wally) Haumaha.
Wallace (Wally) Haumaha. Photo credit: The Hui.

The head of an inquiry into the Deputy Police Commissioner appears to have 'endorsed' him  a number of times on LinkedIn.

Dr Pauline Kingi will head an inquiry into the appointment of Wally Haumaha, after it emerged he described Louise Nicholas' allegations police officers raped her as "nonsense", saying "we have to stick together." He made the comments to Operation Austin in 2004.

An account under Dr Kingi's name has endorsed Mr Haumaha in 23 skill areas on the employment website LinkedIn. Endorsements include for 'leadership', 'public sector' and 'public safety.'

National's police spokesperson Chris Bishop says Dr Kingi should be stood down.

"There is a clear and unequivocal conflict of interest, and the Government should never have appointed Dr Kingi in the first instance," he said.

"If the Government is truly committed to an independent inquiry, it must stand Dr Kingi down immediately and appoint a new Chair."

Dr Kingi was announced head of the inquiry last week, nearly a month after the inquiry was announced.

The inquiry has been criticised by the Opposition for avoiding looking at whether Mr Haumaha is suitable for the role. It will only look at the process leading to his appointment.

New Zealand First once selected Mr Haumaha as a candidate, leading to questions over whether the party's Tracey Martin is best-suited to oversee the inquiry set-up.

In June, Mr Haumaha said in the 14 years since the comments were made he has "reflected deeply and often on what it means to live the values that New Zealanders rightly expect from their police."

He said he takes responsibility for the comments and unreservedly apologises.

Newshub.