Wally Haumaha inquiry head announced, six-week probe to start August 20

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin has announced Mary Scholtens QC will lead a Government inquiry into the appointment process of Deputy Commissioner of Police Wally Haumaha, saying the inquiry will start the week after next and has a six-week timeframe.

Mr Haumaha's appointment has been under fire in light of comments he made defending police officers accused of rape in 2004. 

There've also been accusations of bullying behaviour on a project Mr Haumaha was involved with. 

Ms Martin announced this evening that the inquiry will start on August 20 and Ms Scholtens will be the single member involved.

The inquiry's purpose is to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment of Mr Haumaha.

Ms Martin said Mary Scholtens is a respected QC who has worked in public and administrative law for 36 years. 

She was Crown Counsel at the Crown Law Office for 10 years and previously worked as a solicitor privately and in several government departments. 

Since 1996 she has practiced public law from the independent bar, and in 2002 was made Queen's Counsel.  

She has been involved in or carried out many inquiries including acting as Counsel Assisting the 2004 Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. 

In 2003 she carried out a review of the operation of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 for the Minister of State Services.

Ms Martin said that at the conclusion of the inquiry, and in the event the inquiry finds deficiencies in the appointment process, the Prime Minister will seek advice from the Solicitor General or the State Services Commissioner on the appropriate next steps.  


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