Criminal Justice Experts Condemn Appointment of Haumaha – People Against Prisons Aotearoa


People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA) shares victims advocate Louise Nicholas’ concerns about the appointment of Wally Haumaha as Deputy Police Commissioner.

“Haumaha spent years insisting that Nicholas, a victim of gang rape by police officers, was lying,” says PAPA spokeswoman Emilie Rakete. “He defended his friends Rickards, Shipton, and Schollum, while disregarding any responsibility to protect victims of sexual violence. He clearly cannot be trusted to hold police officers to account.”

“The appointment of Haumaha flies in the face of the New Zealand Police’s claims that it is committed to cultural change,” says Rākete. “Haumaha has been Deputy Chief Executive Māori to the New Zealand Police for years. In that period, rates of police violence against Māori have actually increased.”

“Haumaha has failed miserably in his responsibilities to end sexual and racist violence by police officers. He would only continue to do so in this new position.”

“This appointment is a boys’ club reward for Haumaha and must be rescinded. It is unthinkable that a man who attacks victims of sexual violence by police officers is now responsible for reforming the Police,” says Rākete.

“This appointment demonstrates how superficial the Police’s commitment to change really is. Despite years of effort to reform the institution, this is the best it is capable of. The New Zealand Police has proven itself a rotten institution that must be rebuilt from the ground up.”


  1. This sort of poppycock, that “the NZ Police has proven itself a rotten institution that must be rebuilt from the ground up”, is totally unfair on the ground level front-line cops who have to carry the flak for the crappy decisions made by their seniors on the top floor where the air is thinner, and the brains oxygen-challenged.

    The ground level cops are who the old white men should be listening to, instead of policy advisers who by and large exist to explain things to managers unable to understand things by themselves, and who have spread like tentacled algae throughout every govt dept in Wellington.

    Wally Haumaha was being promoted because the NZ Police is keen to be seen to be inclusive, and Wally is a Maori. It happens in govt depts with reverse-discrimination promotion of the plain hopeless, and can lead to greater inefficiency and waste of resources, but there are one or two arguments in favour of it.

    There are some good non-white police officers, and it’s a great shame if the police are still using stone-age selection processes and by-passing the best, and not doing a bit more lateral thinking. I’m guessing its a HR’s stuff-up.

    Instead of ensconcing themselves like gods on top floors – as most management do – police hierarchy could look at moving themselves down to ground floor level where the troops pass daily, and connect more. Multi-connecting may be PC but it can be productive too, and nice.

    Rakete blaming Haumaha for “not ending sexual and racist violence by police officers”, is moving into vigilante red-neck territory and it is more applicable to crappy American television programmes than the streets of New Zealand. Our police are pretty good compared to many, and when they stuff up they stuff up good too.

  2. There is no way that this person should be promoted, he was a part of a gang that raped a woman, and that is a fact. I don’t care if he is Maori or what race is actually is or might claim to be. It’s behaviour that is the clear indicator of attitude and honour. This very very poor example of both a police officer and human being should be forced to resign. For Christs sake when will we ever learn… you don’t changes peoples behaviour by promoting them, that simply embeds the unwanted behaviour until in the end it actually institutionalises it as the norm. Wally Haumaha should do the honest and honourable thing and resign…NOW

    • It’s when will the police ever learn.

      I’ve been criticised previously for being supportive of the NZ Police, but I think they’ve been stunningly blind this time in not realising that mouthing platitudes does not negate Haumaha’s unedifying history, and by failing to take into account that outside in the real world, the punters don’t like being bull-shitted to and taken for fools. They’ve let themselves down – and all the decent cops too.

      It’s not the first time this scenario has played out trying to promote a Maori with a sleazy track record, and as a woman believe me I am questioning the sincerity of the NZ Police’s commitment to treat women properly and correctly because they have demeaned us with this appointment, and signalled that we don’t matter if it means getting a Maori into a top job, and that’s the message that they are sending out to Aotearoa NZ.

      Shame on them – and kia kaha lady cops in this work place.

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