Cop rides out child abuse cover-up inquiry

By Amie Hickland of the Wairarapa Times-Age -
An employment investigation into the incident started in July 2009. Photo / File
An employment investigation into the incident started in July 2009. Photo / File

A Wairarapa police officer at the centre of a major child-abuse cover-up has kept his job after a code-of-conduct investigation but police will not reveal the outcome of the long inquiry.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark McHattie was investigated after being identified as a key figure in the wrongful "resolution" of more than 100 child-abuse files in 2006.

Mr McHattie was head of the Wairarapa CIB in 2006, and was named in a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

The report said Mr McHattie emailed two of his superiors in September that year, saying the backlog of 142 child-abuse cases had been dealt with, and cut to only 29 cases in three months.

That was untrue and 33 of the files were "filed incorrectly" or "inappropriately resolved".

An employment investigation into the incident started in July 2009.

The case has since been concluded, according to information obtained under the Official Information Act.

Acting national manager police conduct, Charlie Busby, said in 17 of the 18 Code of Conduct matters investigated, the employees concerned were cleared of misconduct and dealt with through informal processes.

"The disciplinary process in relation to Detective Senior Sergeant Mark McHattie has been concluded and an outcome imposed in accordance with the Police Act 1958 and Police Regulations 1992 (now repealed)," he said.

All other information was withheld in order to "protect the privacy of natural persons".

A police communications adviser said the outcome was a matter between the employee and the individual, but confirmed Mr McHattie was still a police employee.

She said the police would not answer any other questions on the matter.

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