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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Officer investigated following use of airline ticket

11 May 2021

The Authority oversaw an investigation into a complaint that a Police officer travelled to Queenstown using an Air New Zealand ticket purchased in the complainant's name, without the complainant's knowledge or consent.

The complainant's ex-partner had initially purchased the tickets for her and the complainant to travel. When arrangements changed and the complainant decided not to travel, his ticket was used by the officer without the complainant's knowledge. The complainant alleged the officer's use of his ticket amounted to criminal conduct.

The investigation found the actions of the officer did not constitute criminal conduct because he did not personally check in for the flight and did not know it was in the complainant's name until after arriving in Queenstown. The Authority agreed with this finding.

Likewise, in relation to the complainant's ex-partner, the investigation found she was not criminally liable, although her actions in providing the ticket to the officer had enabled a breach of Air New Zealand's travel policy. On that basis, the investigation found she had breached the Police code of conduct. Police subsequently took remedial action with her to address this failing.

The Authority agrees the ex-partner's actions did not meet the criminal threshold and the action taken to address the breach of the code was appropriate.

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