Two Auckland police staff allegedly filmed themselves in a
sex act during work hours and sent the footage to a junior
colleague as an invitation to join them.
She reported the incident, said to have happened at the
Auckland Central station, to managers, and they launched an
Both staff members, one a male sworn officer and the other a
female civilian, were stood down in March on full pay.
The non-sworn employee has since resigned - thereby avoiding
the employment inquiry - but the investigation into the
behaviour of the uniformed officer is ongoing.
The Weekend Herald has been told the sexual activity
allegedly took place during work hours and was filmed on a
police device, such as an iPod or iPhone.
Part of the internal inquiry concerns whether the pair asked
the junior colleague to keep quiet. She has not left the
Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty could not confirm details
of the incident, including the ranks, roles of those
involved, equipment used or where it happened, because it was
an employment matter.
She said allegations such as this one "are taken seriously,
acted on quickly and investigated robustly".
The scandal will again raise questions about attitudes to sex
within an element of the force, as the national hierarchy
continue to implement the recommendations of the 2007
commission of inquiry into police misconduct following the
Louise Nicholas case, and soon after public confidence was
shaken by the Roast Busters inquiry.
The percentage of staff who reported having experienced or
witnessed inappropriate workplace conduct dropped from 19 to
16 over the past four years.
"Ideally, the gradual shift towards a more respectful and
value-driven culture within New Zealand Police should help
prevent inappropriate conduct from happening in the first
place," according to the findings of a 2013 workplace survey.
"However, when these instances do occur, staff will look to
the organisation to address them in an appropriate and
effective manner and this remains a challenge."
Of staff who reported inappropriate conduct, 76 per cent felt
management did not follow through effectively, up from 70
four years before.
There is also a gender divide, with women scoring
consistently lower than men on the "respect and integrity"
questions of the survey.
"This is an area of concern, particularly given that females
are more likely to be a victim/witness of bullying,
harassment and discrimination," said the report authors, who
noted that 19 per cent of women had experienced such
behaviour, compared to 14.7 per cent of men.
That 19 per cent figure had decreased from 24 per cent in
2010, but the report said this could be because women feel
less confident in reporting inappropriate behaviour.
Associate Professor Nicola Gavey, a University of Auckland
psychologist who specialises in gender issues, said filming
sexual activity and sharing it was not just isolated to the
"It is part of our broader culture. I think the key thing is
how the police are responding to gendered issues of power. I
think it's brilliant the police are acknowledging this,
seeing it as an issue which needs to be addressed. That's
A spokesman for police national headquarters said the force
was making good progress on implementing the commission of
inquiry's recommendations - particularly around the treatment
of victims of sexual crime.
"Police currently have a 79 per cent trust and confidence
rating and we hold that because people know that we hold our
staff to very high standards of behaviour."