"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts

Until we have legislation adopted into law to ensure fiduciary accountability and transparency in public affairs we will continue to have human rights breached because the existing crown immunity and lack of any independent oversight invites corruption to flourish.


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"We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity" - Neil Roberts


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"I = m c 2 [squared] where "I" am information" - Timothy Leary

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mark McHattie - rewarded and promoted for covering up child abuse:

The policeman accused of covering up the extent of child abuse cases in Wairarapa was never interviewed by the Independent Police Conduct Authority, a "glaring" omission, says the Police Association.

Former Wairarapa CIB head Mark McHattie is the officer who came out worst in the authority's report last week, which found "serious failings" in the investigation of child abuse.

It was revealed McHattie wrongly told superiors in Wellington that the number of unresolved child abuse files in his district had fallen from 121 to 29 in September 2006.

He wrote: "With my hand on my heart, I can honestly say the total number of [child abuse] investigation files currently held for investigation is 29."

Later McHattie was promoted to detective senior sergeant and headed Auckland's serious crime squad. But an internal investigation found 100 of the Wairarapa child abuse files were inappropriately resolved or misfiled, with 46 closed in two days at the end of August 2006.

McHattie now faces a code of conduct hearing. If misconduct relating to Wairarapa was shown, any sanctions would apply regardless of his new role.

After a nationwide investigation into the extent of the child-abuse backlog, 18 police staff were investigated, with 10 since dealt with informally, and eight cases involving officers from Wellington, the Bay of Plenty, Eastern, Waitemata, Canterbury, Central and Waikato still pending.

McHattie did not respond to calls from the Star-Times. He has been in the firing line of senior police bosses for some time.

National MP John Hayes told the Star-Times in 2009 that he attended a meeting that year in which Wellington regional police chiefs appeared to be "shoving the blame" at a Wairarapa officer who had "hidden paperwork".

"They essentially said the problem was someone had buried files, but I find that difficult to believe. If you have proper management processes, checks and balances, you know what's going on," Hayes said at the time.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said McHattie was never interviewed by the authority. "You'd have to ask yourself why. Not talking to a key player is a glaring omission. It's an incomplete report."

He said McHattie provided written submissions that were not included in the report. They would now form the basis of his employment hearing.

The Star-Times understands McHattie will argue he was dealing with a huge caseload, was having to juggle files, and was coming and going from the Wairarapa.

O'Connor said the authority had not gone into what was happening at the time, and there was a climate of fear in which the previous administration "absolutely did not want to hear bad news".

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