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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Officer alleged to have interfered in civil proceedings

11 May 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint that a Police Officer interfered in Family Court proceedings by attempting to dissuade witnesses from supporting a protection order against one of the parties.

The officer attended a meeting where he spoke with family members about a protection order filed against the complainant. In doing so he gave advice that the complainant alleged was outside his mandate as a police officer and constituted a criminal offence.

The investigation found that while the officer's initial attendance and advice was well intentioned, he should have terminated the meeting when it did not progress as intended. On that basis Police did not uphold the complaint.

The Authority disagreed with this finding.

The meeting involved matters firmly in the domain of the Family Court and the Authority's view is that the officer should not have attended and participated as he did. However, the Authority does not consider the officer committed any criminal offences or that he breached the Police Code of Conduct. Nevertheless, he acted outside his mandate as a Police officer and therefore the Authority found the complaint upheld.

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