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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Allegation of conflict of interest and improper police conduct - Bay of Plenty

22 December 2020

Senior police officer chaired a local Governance Board. The Board dissolved its local committee leading to an appeal before a tribunal. The tribunal ordered the committee to be reinstated. Before and after the hearing, various allegations were made by a committee member about the conduct of the Board Chairperson, including having a conflict of interest, influencing other police officers to support the Board's view, improper involvement in arresting and detaining the committee member's relative, bullying on social media, and lying at the tribunal hearing.

The Authority referred the matter to Police to investigate and oversaw that investigation. Police concluded that the officer did not influence police decision makers, managed the perceived conflict of interest appropriately, made a lawful arrest and that there was no evidence that he lied at the hearing. No evidence of bullying was found, and no specific examples were provided as part of the complaint. The Authority completed an independent review of the Police investigation and agrees with the outcome. We had previously reviewed an earlier investigation of several of the allegations and our findings were published on our website on 4 November 2019.

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