Home Contact Us

We are the only NZ Police oversight body

We are not part of the NZ Police

Under law we are fully independent

If you have a complaint about the NZ Police, you can come to us

Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Home / Publications and Media / 2023 media releases

Inspector breached COVID-19 Health Order

24 August 2023

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that, on 5 September 2021, an Inspector from Tāmaki Makaurau personally breached the COVID-19 Health Order by taking a group of people across the border in a Police vehicle to attend a tangi. This was at a time when Tāmaki Makaurau was in Alert Level Four and in general lockdown due to community transmission of the Delta variant. The rest of the country was at Alert Level Three.

The Inspector was the District’s Māori Responsiveness Manager and considered it a part of his policing role to uphold what he saw as Crown obligations to the Māori community under te Tiriti o Waitangi in conjunction with the Police cultural value of bringing humanity to every interaction. This informed his actions. The Inspector did not gain any personal benefit from his actions.

The Authority acknowledges the tension experienced by the Inspector between his duty as a Police officer and his service to the Māori community.

However, Judge Kenneth Johnston KC noted that the Inspector “…has overstepped his role and gone beyond his authority. His actions did not uphold the Health Order and they were also not within the boundaries of the law and Police discretion. Effectively, he disregarded the law.”

The Authority considered five separate allegations against the Inspector for breaching the COVID-19 Health Order.

The Authority found that, in addition to the initial breach on 5 September 2021, the Inspector:

  • attempted to facilitate the movement of one other group across the lockdown border four days later; and
  • did not facilitate, or attempt to facilitate, the movements of the groups involved in the three other allegations.

The Authority also considered whether the District Commander appropriately managed the allegations about the Inspector and whether the actions of the Inspector impinged on public trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police.

The Authority found that:

  • the District Commander should have ensured Police fully investigated the Inspector’s actions when first informed of them on 5 September 2021 and advised the Inspector of the extent of his role and discretion in such circumstances; and
  • although the Inspector attempted to uphold Police values, he did not ensure his actions were lawful and this resulted in him breaching the Police Code of Conduct and impinging on public trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police.
Public Report

Inspector breached COVID-19 Health Order (PDF 743 KB) 

MoST Content Management V3.0.8886