Deputy Commissioner Haumaha should never have been appointed - Louise Nicholas

Morning Talk 29/06/2018

Sexual abuse campaigner Louise Nicholas says the appointment of Wally Haumaha to the position of Deputy Police Commissioner should never have been allowed to happen.

In 2004, Nicholas publicly alleged police officers Clint Rickards, Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum raped her as a teenager in the 1980s – an allegation that launched investigation "Operation Austin" and an inquiry into police culture.

One officer told the 2004 Operation Austin investigation that the new Deputy Commissioner described Nicholas' allegations as "nonsense" and that "nothing really happened and we have to stick together".

Haumaha was a friend and colleague of the police officers in the 1980s and 1990s. Nicholas says Haumaha’s support for those officers back then should have prevented his appointment.

Haumaha was appointed to Deputy Commissioner in May this year. 

“I’ve been waiting for this beast to raise its ugly head for some time now,” Nicholas told Mark Sainsbury on RadioLIVE’s Morning Talk.

“When they were looking at promoting him to Assistant Commissioner a couple of years back, I was given an opportunity to give an opinion on that and straight away [I said] “what the hell are you doing?””

She told RadioLIVE that some of Haumaha's statements made about her case at the time were shocking.

“One statement that I read was from Wally Haumaha, [it read] “These guys are great men and legends in their own right””

Louise Nicholas says the issue of Haumaha’s promotion to higher office has been going on for a number of years.

“And it’s not just because of what I know, it’s because of what other women have been coming to me about his behaviour.

“I just worry about the culture of the New Zealand Police sliding if Wally is appointed any further up the food chain.”

Police Minister Stuart Nash has explained that he was not told of Haumaha's comments before promoting him.

"The comments are deeply disappointing and are unacceptable,” said Nash.

The three accused officers were acquitted by a jury in 2007 on charges of kidnapping and indecently assaulting a then-16-year-old girl.

In 2006, the same three men were acquitted of historic sex charges against Nicholas. Shipton and Schollum are already in prison for a different rape -- of a Mount Maunganui woman.

Listen to the full interview with Louise Nicholas above.

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