Police Minister Stuart Nash won't back Wally Haumaha despite inquiry clearing him

"Unsubstantiated rumours and innuendo should not impede advancement," that's one of the findings from the inquiry into the appointment of Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha, which was released on Monday.

But Police Minister Stuart Nash says he's not prepared to put his confidence behind Mr Haumaha until a separate Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) is completed.

"We don't want to prejudice that in any way, shape or form, so let's just wait until that's back," he told media. 

He said the decision on whether Mr Haumaha would return to his office would be a decision for the Police Commissioner.

Led by Mary Scholtens QC, the just-released inquiry was set up to look into the process that led to Mr Haumaha being appointed after it emerged he called the alleged police rape of Louise Nicholas "nonsense" during an investigation in 2004.

Ms Nicholas spoke out strongly against his appointment, and Mr Nash said he was not aware of Mr Haumaha's comments when he recommended him.

In her decision, Ms Scholtens wrote that two important pieces of information weren't available to the appointment process - that Ms Nicholas had "significant concerns" about him, and that he had allegedly bullied people in 2016.

Despite this, she decided that "the process was sound".

"There was no available and relevant information omitted from the process," she wrote in the document.

"There were no substantiated concerns whether criminal, disciplinary, reputational or otherwise that should be treated as relevant to the appointment process.

"Unsubstantiated rumours and innuendo should not impede advancement. In this case DC Haumaha has a record of excellent and effective performance in a critical area of policing."

In a previous statement Mr Haumaha apologised and expressed regret about the comments he made about Ms Nicholas.

"It is important to say outright that I take responsibility for those comments, I deeply regret them, and I unreservedly apologise for the hurt and concern they have caused," he said.

"In the 14 years since those comments, and particularly through the changes following the 2007 Commission of Inquiry, I have reflected deeply and often on what it means to live the values that New Zealanders rightly expect from their police."

The inquiry also dealt with allegations Mr Haumaha had bullied three women in 2015 and 2016 while working on a joint project, and they decided to stop working at the Police National Headquarters as a result.

Ms Scholtens found there were no complaints made to Police about Mr Haumaha's conduct, and "without a complaint there was nothing to take into account".

However she did acknowledge that his management style had come into question.

"The incidents reflected DC Haumaha's adoption of a direct police-style approach to a multi-agency project, there a more orthodox public sector approach may have been appropriate."

Mr Haumaha issued a statement on Monday saying he was pleased the report had been released.

He said he welcomed the news the appointment process had been carried out correctly.

"I want to thank all those who have assisted the Inquiry.  It has not been easy for anyone, as I know from my own weeks and months waiting for the outcome," Mr Haumaha said in the statement.  

"I am especially grateful to my whanau and the many iwi leaders who have supported me and my family.

"I also want to thank the great number of people, many unknown to me, who have also given us their support." 

Minister for State Services Chris Hipkins told media on Monday the report "speaks for itself".

He said the Government has "full confidence" in the appointment process, which he described as "sound and robust".