Under fire deputy police commissioner Wally Haumaha is set to represent the organisation as a speaker at a Victoria University-hosted international justice conference - despite an ongoing investigation into his recent promotion and allegations of bullying.

"Effective and Human": Restorative and Māori Justice Approaches to the Prison Crisis is touted as "a gathering focused on thinking creatively about how restorative justice and kaupapa Māori can offer fresh approaches in Corrections and prisoner reintegration".

Haumaha is one of nine speakers listed for the conference and will not be removed from the lineup as a result of the investigation.

Haumaha was promoted to the role of deputy commissioner in June. Shortly after, the Herald revealed controversial comments made during Operation Austin, an investigation into historic police rape allegations made by Louise Nicholas.


He had described his friends Brad Shipton as a "softie" and Bob Schollum as a "legend" with women, while one officer told the 2004 investigation into the police sex allegations that Haumaha described Nicholas' allegations as "a nonsense".

Wally Haumaha, photographed when he was awarded an Officer of ONZM. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Wally Haumaha, photographed when he was awarded an Officer of ONZM. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The same day acting Prime Minister Winston Peters announced a Government inquiry into Haumaha's promotion.

The inquiry will not look into Haumaha's suitability for the role, rather whether all the relevant information was provided to, or gathered by, the State Services Commission panel which recommended Haumaha as one of two potential candidates for the senior job.

The inquiry will also consider allegations of bullying against the long-serving senior officer.

Despite the inquiry and allegations of bullying, Haumaha will represent police at an international conference in October.

Given the current investigation into Haumaha, the Herald sought comment from the university about his role as a speaker.


"The focus of the conference is restorative justice and Māori approaches to criminal justice," said the university's Provost, Professor Wendy Larner.

"Assistant Commissioner Wallace Haumaha has led a lot of the work done by police with Māori communities on this, so he has an important perspective to offer to the international audience.


"He was invited to speak at this event before the inquiry into the appointment process for his position was announced and that inquiry is still underway."

Larner said the conference was being hosted by the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice and the Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership at Victoria University of Wellington.

"Decisions about speakers are made by the academics involved," she explained.

"The university values both academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Louise Nicholas, sexual abuse survivor and victim advocate. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Louise Nicholas, sexual abuse survivor and victim advocate. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The woman whose evidence convicted Shipton and Schollum of raping her - who has earlier called for Haumaha to resign over his comments - said his appearance at the conference was "ironic".

"The 'turning of the tide' will be when people like me - a woman, a mother, a wife, a victim and an advocate - can regain essential confidence that anyone in our justice system has 100 per cent integrity, no bias and can walk with head held high in regards to the decorum of its staff who serve the New Zealand public," she said.

"I think Mr Haumaha should remain under wraps until this inquiry has determined the flaws of his promotion, for the sake of the reputation of New Zealand Police and the people like myself who believe he should not have been eligible for.

"One might say that the response over the ill-informed promotion is emotive; but rape and misogyny are grass roots harmful traumatic events that destroy lives, namely the ability for a victim to moderate their emotions, so it makes complete sense that outrage follows anyone found to have sided with a perpetrator of sexual violence."

- Additional reporting: Jared Savage