A Dunedin police inspector who quit after signing a secret settlement deal had recently begun a relationship with a teenager.

Southern District roading policing manager Inspector Tania Baron, 43, left her role last Thursday, as part of a mediated exit arranged by lawyers and police.

Her resignation followed the end of her marriage, and the beginning of a new relationship with a teenager, who is ​now 18.

It is understood he is staying at Baron's home where she lives with her teenage children.
The pair are believed to have bonded over a shared interest in cycling.

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His parents had spoken with police about the pair's relationship last year.

Tania Baron has left the police force. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Tania Baron has left the police force. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Baron's colleagues were apparently unhappy with the situation, however it is unclear if an investigation was completed.

It is also unknown if the relationship was the direct cause of the resignation.

When the Herald visited Baron at her home yesterday, she would not answer questions, other than to confirm there was a relationship and the other person involved was "not a schoolboy".

She confirmed her marriage with her husband had ended.

A confidentiality agreement meant she could say little else, she said.

Her lawyer Rob Davidson later called to say Baron would be providing no further comment.

In a statement, Southern District commander Superintendent Paul Basham also refused to comment.

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"The individual you have named is a former member of NZ Police," he said.

"We do not discuss employment matters relating to current or former staff and have no comment to make."

Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham refused to comment on Tania Baron's resignation. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham refused to comment on Tania Baron's resignation. Photo / Mark Mitchell

An earlier information request from a member of the public about the matter was also turned down, for privacy reasons, and because police said making the information available would "prejudice the law".

Baron's 2015 appointment was a much-lauded event, with a press release at the time labelling it a "milestone" for the district, because she was the first woman to hold the job.

A Dunedin local, Baron had previously held a range of roles within police, including frontline policing, youth, prosecutions and leading case management across the district.

The road policing role was a very public one, with Baron regularly fronting appeals about speeding or weather, in a bid to improve safety on the roads.

"My vision is for our roads to be the safest in the country and our team will take a strong stance on unacceptable behaviour," Baron said in the June 2015 announcement.

"Road safety is the responsibility of everyone."

The then-Southern District commander, Superintendent Andrew Coster, said he was "delighted" to have Baron as part of the district leadership team, saying she was an "extremely competent leader and manager".

Police are yet to appoint a replacement manager for the road policing team.