Police Commissioner Howard Broad has distanced himself from the appointment of a senior officer, caught accessing the police computer to pass on information during the trial of former policeman and convicted pack rapist Brad Shipton, to head the Police College's investigation and intelligence school.

Mr Broad said he was "disappointed" at elements of the decision-making and was seeking more information about the appointment.

Detective Inspector Dave Archibald was censured in 2005 when he was a senior sergeant for accessing the computer system during the trial of former police officers Shipton, Bob Schollum and two civilians for raping a woman at Mt Maunganui.

Mr Archibald was looking for information to pass to private investigator and former colleague John Birmingham, who worked for Shipton's defence.

Though he admitted to inappropriately accessing the computer, it was not clear whether any information was given to Shipton's defence team.

Mr Archibald was promoted to the rank of detective inspector last month on being appointed to the Police College's investigation and intelligence school.

His new job involves training police intelligence, prosecutions, forensics, and investigative techniques.

Mr Broad said the authority for making police appointments was delegated to managers.

"Where there are issues around an appointment - real or perceived - then these must be carefully considered," he said.

"It is not clear whether that happened in this case.

"My expectation is that normal risk management rules apply to all appointment processes.

"I am now seeking more information about the decision-making in this case."

Mr Broad said the sensitivity of issues around the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct was well known within the force.

"It is my expectation that decisions are made in accordance with learnings from the Commission of Inquiry," he said.

The commission was established in 2004 to carry out a full, independent investigation into the way in which New Zealand Police had dealt with allegations of sexual assault by members of the police and associates of the police. It followed the publication of allegations suggesting that police officers might have deliberately undermined or mishandled investigations into complaints of sexual assault that had been made against other officers.

The Government released the commission's report in April 2007.

- NZPA