There's a new clause buried in the application guide for candidates vying to be the next Commissioner of Police.
The statement allows the State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, who is running the appointment process to "approach, in confidence, not only the referees you have named but other people who have personal knowledge of you".
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Signing the authority on the dotted line also allows the SSC can also search personnel employment and professional conduct files, as well as any complaint database, held by current and previous employers.
It could be called the "Haumaha Clause."
In appointing a commissioner to succeed Mike Bush, the Government will be desperate to avoid the controversy caused by the promotion of Wally Haumaha to the position of Deputy Commissioner last year.
Mary Scholtens, QC, led an inquiry into his appointment after the Herald revealed comments made by, or attributed to, Haumaha during the Operation Austin investigation in 2004.
These comments raised concerns from Louise Nicholas, whose allegations she was raped by police officers set Operation Austin in motion, which were understandable, wrote Scholtens.
But there was no evidence unearthed in Operation Austin to say Haumaha had done anything wrong, and Scholtens also cleared the appointment process in failing to identify the potential problem.
This was despite Bush knowing Nicholas had an issue with Haumaha in the past, but did not raise it with the SSC appointment panel as he thought the problem had been resolved.
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Scholtens thought this was reasonable, although Hughes and his State Services Commission deputy Debbie Power - who were on the appointment panel with Bush - thought it would have been "prudent" for him to raise it anyway, if only to be prepared for any potential negative publicity.
And while Haumaha and the appointment process were cleared of any wrongdoing by Scholtens, she did make a limited number of recommendations for improvement.
One was for the SCC to approach people other than nominated referees to seek "anonymous, confidential views from employees and other persons whose perspectives may not be otherwise reached".
A spokesman for the SSC confirmed the Scholtens Inquiry was the reason for casting the net wider in whittling down the contenders for the next Police Commissioner.
It makes sense. Because of course, someone's referees are likely to paint a glowing picture.
And you would expect a top police officer to pass a criminal history check, as well as vetting by New Zealand's intelligence agencies and the Serious Fraud Office, with flying colours.
Similarly, anyone who is interviewed for the job will have a glittering CV with a long list of achievements.
But someone's colleagues, or perhaps former peers - especially under the cloak of anonymity - are more likely to give a frank appraisal, or insight, into whether flaws or character traits could be exposed at the highest levels.
Even if these deep background checks simply lead to more probing questions at the interview stage, this is a worthwhile exercise.
Because while the Scholtens Inquiry cleared Haumaha of any wrongdoing, the Independent Police Conduct Authority did not.
A scathing IPCA report upheld complaints about Haumaha and described his behaviour as bullying, in the common sense of the word.
However, the incidents did not meet the workplace definition of bullying which requires "persistence".
On legal advice from the Solicitor-General, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was disappointed but, following legal advice, could not remove Haumaha from the position of statutory Deputy Commissioner.
Instead, it was left to Bush to give his deputy a stern telling off .
When it comes to who will take the top job in the police, the Government can ill afford a repeat of the controversy.
So Hughes and the SSC would be wise to dig deep to find where the bodies are buried.
However, on the flip side, the SSC will need to sort fact from fiction.
There are already plenty of rumours, smears and innuendo seeping out of Police National Headquarters. Some will be true, or a version of the truth at least.
As previously reported by the Herald, the race to become the next Police Commissioner has been likened to the backstabbing in the Game of Thrones television show.
"Everyone has been waiting for their shot at the top job ... and they'll be sharpening the knives," said one source.
Like many organisations, there are factions, cliques and loyalties within the police. Some individuals will be rooting for a certain contender, in order to follow them up the ladder.
Others, who have fallen out of favour or had their careers sidelined, will hold a grudge in one hand and an axe to grind in the other.
If skeletons do tumble out of the closet, the SSC will need to question how credible the information is and who pointed them in the right direction.
And ultimately answer this question: Who will best uphold the values of the New Zealand Police?
Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Commitment to Māori and the Treaty, Empathy and Valuing Diversity.