Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Mayor says top cop has his full support

Rod Carpinter. Photo / Alan Gibson
Rod Carpinter. Photo / Alan Gibson

Matamata-Piako mayor Hugh Vercoe is standing by his district's top cop.

Mr Vercoe's comments come after the Herald revealed last week that Matamata-Piako Detective Sergeant Rod Carpinter was the subject of an internal police investigation after people arrested in two drug busts he led we freed by the courts.

But Mr Vercoe said the region's sub-area manager retained his "full support and confidence".

Mr Carpinter was promoted to the role in June last year, two months before his involvement in a P-lab bust was criticised in court.

In the past week Mr Vercoe has received briefings from police on the 2005 and 2009 busts.

Mr Carpinter's role in both was criticised by judges.

"I totally support Rod Carpinter and the work he does in our district.

"He has my full support ... and there's nothing on the briefings I've had that would give me any cause of concern."

Mr Vercoe was waiting for the outcome of the police investigation which is looking into Mr Carpinter and Constable John Grantham's involvement in a P bust in 2009.

In a judgment made on August 5, Justice Christopher Allan called the illegal police raid "consciously reckless" and as a result the two men caught with more than $1 million of methamphetamine were let off.

Mr Carpinter was earlier criticised for his involvement in a drug bust in 2005 where his actions were also found to be "unreasonable and unlawful".

"There needs to be an investigation and if the situation is different to what has been reported for that to be publicly available," Mr Vercoe said.

Police have said any criticisms of police actions were taken seriously and a decision was made by the Hamilton Crown Solicitor to launch an internal investigation.

Waikato police district commander Superintendent Win van der Velde said Mr Vercoe's comments reflected the long-term partnership established between police and local government.

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