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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Inappropriate workplace behaviour by a Police officer

26 October 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into an allegation a male officer made a number of sexist and derogatory comments about women and the way Police investigated sexual assault complaints. The officer was also alleged to have behaved in a manner that belittled female colleagues and engaged in unsolicited physical contact, which made female staff uncomfortable in his presence.

The Police investigation revealed that this conduct, although unwitting, occurred over a period of time and had a profoundly negative effect on those staff the officer worked with.

Police found that the officer's behaviour was contrary to the Police Code of Conduct. A number of remedial actions have been taken including coaching, mentoring around appropriate workplace behaviour and a restorative approach is being adopted between the complainants and the officer.

The Authority accepts the findings of the Police investigation and agrees with the employment approach taken in this case.

This matter was notified to the Authority in January 2019 which was before we commenced our investigation into allegations of bullying and related issues within New Zealand Police (in October 2019). While the specific issues raised in this Police investigation are not part of our wider investigation into bullying, the nature of the behaviours exhibited do form part of our overall assessment of the organisational and cultural practices within New Zealand Police. We are currently at the final stages of this project.

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