The chair of the inquiry into Wally Haumaha's appointment as deputy police commissioner has stood down.
Dr Pauline Kingi, a well-respected public servant, was last week announced as chairwoman of the $150,000 inquiry to "examine, identify and report on the adequacy of the process".
She was appointed more than three weeks after the Herald revealed comments made by Haumaha during Operation Austin, an investigation into historic police rape allegations made by Louise Nicholas.
But the focus has been on Dr Kingi after the Herald yesterday revealed she had endorsed Haumaha's skills and experience on the professional networking website LinkedIn 23 times.
Dr Kingi could not remember doing this, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said in Parliament yesterday.
"At that time it was common practice for Māori professionals to support each other through this new medium through endorsements."
Martin revealed Kingi had declared she "knew of" Haumaha in a professional capacity and also attended the same tangi as Haumaha in 2015 or 2016.
Today in Parliament, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said Dr Kingi informed her office she was standing down.
"It is with regret I have to inform the House that Dr Pauline Kingi advised the Government that she is going to stand down from the inquiry into the appointment process of the deputy commissioner of police," Martin told Parliament.
"Ever since she was appointed to the role, she has been the subject of political attack. Those have been attacks on her integrity, attacks on her reputation and even attacks on her legal qualification.
"Dr Kingi has a 28-year career in public service. She was asked to perform a public duty yet became the subject of an undue and unwarranted criticism. The Government has accepted her resignation and will commence the process to find a replacement."