An investigation into a top police officer who allegedly forgot files in a cupboard has been widened to include seven years of his work at Auckland Central police station.
The officer at the centre of the investigation is Detective Senior Sergeant Mark McHattie, the head of the CIB's serious crimes squad.
McHattie was stood down in January but is back at work on restricted duties.
A source confirmed that the internal investigation into how the files were forgotten has been broadened.
It is understood the investigation initially only looked into the forgotten files, but it will now include all the files he has managed in the past seven years.
Part of McHattie's role as the head of the serious crime unit was to allocate files to other detectives.
The name of the case file is assigned to detectives on a computer system, but the physical file has to be handed to them. Without it, detectives are unable to investigate further because it holds the victim's statement, contact details and nature of the complaint.
In this case, it is understood several potential victims were not contacted by detectives after laying a complaint.
Police would not say how many cases may have been stalled or for how long. They would also not reveal whether any complaints were made by staff or members of the public.
McHattie was the central figure in a 2008 Independent Police Conduct Authority report into failures in the investigation of child abuse.
McHattie was the head of the Masterton CIB where he was tasked with resolving a backlog of cases. He told his bosses a backlog of 142 child-abuse cases had been reduced to 29 cases in three months.
However, an internal audit found 33 of the files were filed incorrectly or inappropriately resolved. Most of the files were closed in a two-day period.
Police would not reveal the outcome of a code-of-conduct investigation into McHattie at that time. He was promoted to the head of the serious crime squad at Auckland Central's CIB in March 2008.
Police would not comment on the current investigation, citing privacy reasons.