'Swatting off this midge': Winston Peters denies making phone call to Wally Haumaha

Wally Haumaha.
Wally Haumaha. Photo credit: The Hui.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has hit back after National MP Chris Bishop claimed he called Wally Haumaha to tell him "things would be OK."

Mr Peters says no such phone call took place.

Mr Bishop used the protection of Parliamentary Privilege to level the allegation during General Debate.

"Winston Peters rang Wally Haumaha after the inquiry into his appointment was announced," Mr Bishop said. "He gave him assurances or words to that effect that things would be OK.

"Sir, that is deeply, wildly inappropriate," Mr Bishop said.

"He hasn't made a revelation and I'm swatting-off this midge right now," Mr Peters said.

"I have not called nor had any reason to call Mr Haumaha since the controversy," Mr Peters said.

"My office has checked all my phone records since the inquiry was announced. No such call was made."

Mr Bishop used his speech in Parliament to question why the Deputy Police Commissioner wasn't simply stood down from the role when it emerged he had dismissed Louise Nicolas' police rape allegations as "nonsense" in 2004.

It's the second time in two days National MPs have used Parliamentary Priviledge to make allegations of misconduct. Amy Adams insinuated on Tuesday that fired Minister Meka Whaitiri left bruises on a staff member.

Mr Haumaha's appointment has continued to attract scrutiny. There have been reports three women left Police National Headquarters and worked from a new location because of alleged bullying from Mr Haumaha.

Mr Bishop said in Parliament that Mr Haumaha was not the prefered candidate for role.

The office of Police Minister Stuart Nash says that's incorrect - Mr Haumaha was one of two candidates recommended for the job.

New Zealand First's relationship with Mr Haumaha has come under scrutiny - NZ First once selected Mr Haumaha as a candidate and Mr Peters attended a celebration of Mr Haumaha's selection as Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Peters says he was invited by police and the National-led Government, but Mr Bishop disputes that, saying police documents show "that this is not true".

Mr Peters' office has been contacted for comment.