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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Officer resigns while under investigation in Waikato

2 August 2021

Police notified the Authority of two investigations involving the same Police officer between 2015 and 2020. In 2018, the officer had been involved in a vehicle pursuit where he allegedly used excessive force, breached radio policy, drove carelessly and wrote a false statement following the event. Between 2015 and 2020 the same officer was involved in another investigation where he allegedly misused the Police information database ten times to gather information on members of the public, specifically those associated within organised crime groups.

In the first instance, the Police investigation found that the officer had driven dangerously and knowingly made a false statement regarding the conduct of the pursuit. The officer was charged with careless driving and found not guilty at the District Court. He was not charged with the false statement matter. In the second instance, Police deemed that no breach of law or policy had occurred when the officer accessed the database.

Prior to the conclusion of both investigations, the officer resigned from Police, and Police were unable to finalise employment action.

The Authority agrees with the findings, outcome and actions taken by Police. The Authority accepts that an employment investigation was unable to be completed following the officer resigning. However, the Authority has raised with Police that the investigation appears to have had delays and potentially allowed unprofessional conduct to continue for an extended period.

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