An internal investigation into the actions of Inspector Hurimoana Dennis has been abandoned because of his decision to retire, as more details are revealed about complaints New South Wales police made about the former senior police officer's conduct.
Dennis and his colleague Sergeant Vaughan Perry were last year acquitted of kidnapping charges after a trial in the High Court at Auckland which heard Dennis orchestrated a mock arrest of a 17-year-old, putting him in police custody cells, to break up his alleged sexual relationship with an underage teen.
The teenager - whose identity is suppressed- was sent to Australia to live with relatives and when he returned Dennis instructed police to meet him at the plane, to be escorted back on to another flight to Sydney. The teen was allegedly told not to return or he would be charged with statutory rape.
The former national police Maori strategic adviser has strenuously defended himself, saying he had the consent of the teenager's family and was acting in line with Maori restorative justice principles. A previous investigation of the teen's relationship by a child protection unit found no prosecution was necessary.
In December Detective Superintendent Chris Page told the Herald a police investigation was under way into both officers' actions but Dennis told the Herald on Sunday his retirement, which he announced after the trial, meant it wouldn't go ahead.
Police declined to comment on the internal investigation, saying it was confidential, but confirmed Perry was back at work on full duties.
Dennis' comments come after documents released to the Herald on Sunday reveal detailed allegations by NSW police of Dennis trying to find out where the teenager was so relatives- alleged to have assaulted him- could retrieve him.
A formal statement by Sergeant Scott Lynch of NSW police also claimed Dennis tried to paint the assault allegations as malicious.
The teenager claimed the relatives he was staying with assaulted him with a crutch, threatened his life, forced him to sleep outside and didn't give him enough to eat. He made a police complaint after fleeing for a safe house organised by his girlfriend's family.
Lynch's statement says he fielded "concerning" communication from Dennis during which the NZ officer asked for the teen's new address and was "not happy" when this was declined.
"[The teenager] understandably was scared of [his] family and very concerned about the actions of Inspector Dennis. [He] was reluctant to provide me with his address in fear it would be disclosed to his family or New Zealand police," the statement says.
"As my inquiries continued I increasingly became concerned in regards to the motives of Inspector Dennis ... There were real concerns that the information, if released, would be passed on to family and they would again become involved in potentially harming [the teenager]."
Information later provided to him about Dennis' relationship with the teen's family "identified something more than a working relationship there, was a clear conflict of interest", Lynch said in the statement.
He later gave evidence in the trial.
Dennis told the Herald the main focus of the conversation was to warn police about the influence the teenager's girlfriend's family was having on him, and to ascertain the teen was safe.
"I said 'Look, as far as the assaults are concerned that's your jurisdiction, do what you need to do ...'. I didn't know the [Sydney police] rules at that time and I was speaking on behalf of [the teenager's] family.
"When the police said to me, 'Look, our rules over here are this', I said, 'Fair enough, can someone just keep sight of him?' and that was that."
Assault charges laid against two adults were later dropped by police.
Dennis said there was an "intent" for an internal police conduct investigation "but when I met with the HR manager and looked at all my options, retirement was the best thing for me".
Dennis said he was comfortable with his actions, but he regretted his colleagues were dragged under the microscope and he apologised to them.
The police file reveals several officers engaged a lawyer to undergo a series of interviews - some spanning days - during the criminal investigation.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has conducted a separate investigation of Dennis and a spokesperson this week said a draft report was being prepared.