MP's concerns over cop transfer

Tracey Martin. Photo NZ Herald/files
Tracey Martin. Photo NZ Herald/files
A New Zealand First MP wrote to a senior police boss to voice "significant issues"about the possible transfer of a local sergeant who was also on the same school board of trustees as her.

Tracey Martin wrote a letter to Inspector Scott Webb on her official MP letterhead in her capacity as the chair of the Mahurangi College board of trustees about the redeployment of long-serving Sergeant Bede Haughey, the officer in charge of the Warkworth station.

Mr Haughey is also a parent trustee on the school board and Ms Martin said "we have developed a close working relationship over the past four years and this has extended outside the school to include many community initiatives"and his transfer would cause "significant issues".

"During a recent meeting to discuss a youth initiative in Warkworth, Bede alerted me to possibility that he might be transferred to other duties in Orewa for 12 months and not be available to continue his work on these initiatives during that time. Such a move would present us with significant issues.

"I am confident that you will place a suitably qualified reliever at Warkworth station during Bede's absence but that person could not possibly get up to speed and make a meaningful contribution to the community in that time," Ms Martin wrote on March 31.

The letter went on to detail Mr Haughey's involvement in the community and in particular battling the effects of legal highs.

Ms Martin finished her letter by stating: "While I have no intention or desire to influence the decision on where you place your resources, I did want to voice my concerns of the impact this might have on the Warkworth community".

Mr Webb, the area commander for Rodney, wrote back a month later to thank Ms Martin for her letter in support of Mr Haughey.

"The consideration to rotate Bede is one of an operational policing decision and careful consideration has been given to this."

The letters were released under the Official Information Act following claims that politicians were often in contact with police.

Maurice Williamson resigned his ministerial portfolios last week after the Herald revealed he called a senior police officer about a National Party donor who was facing criminal charges.

The police reviewed the prosecution after the phone call, but the charges were not withdrawn.

In the police emails, Inspector Gary Davey said he phoned Mr Williamson on January 28.

"He started by saying that in no way was he looking to interfere with the process, he just wanted to make sure somebody had reviewed the matter to ensure we were on solid ground as Mr Liu is investing a lot of money in New Zealand."

- Jared Savage of the NZ Herald

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