Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct

Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark announced the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct (COI) on 4 February 2004. The Commission was established to carry out a full, independent investigation into the way in which the New Zealand Police had dealt with allegations of sexual assault by members of the Police and associates of the Police. This followed the publication of allegations suggesting that police officers might have deliberately undermined or mishandled investigations into complaints of sexual assault that had been made against other officers.

The Commissioner, Dame Margaret Bazley released her report in 2007. The report identified a range of systemic issues as well as behaviour patterns among certain elements within Police that were factors in the alleged misconduct. The report made 60 recommendations: 47 for Police, 12 for the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), and one for the Government. It also distinguished five patterns of unprofessional behaviour amongst certain elements within Police that needed to be addressed. The then Commissioner of Police fully accepted the Commission’s findings, and committed to implementing the recommendations made by the Commission.

Commission of Inquiry report

Visit the New Zealand Parliament website to view the full Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct report.

Monitoring and reporting

A ten year monitoring and reporting regime was put in place to track the progress of the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations. The monitoring period runs from 1 April 2007 until 31 March 2017.

The monitoring and reporting regime incorporates the following:

  • Quarterly progress reports

    In June 2007, Cabinet requested quarterly monitoring reports produced jointly by Police, the State Services Commission (SSC), and the Ministry of Justice (on behalf of the IPCA). The report format adopted incorporated a cover report and a separate status table documenting the progress made against each of the Commission’s recommendations.

    In 2012, the Minister for State Services recommended that the format of the quarterly reports be condensed. By 2013, SSC and Ministry of Justice involvement in this joint report was minimal, so the agencies proposed that they no longer needed to participate in the development of quarterly reports, and should instead comment by exception. This proposal received Ministerial approval, and a new reporting format was adopted from 31 March 2013.

    Note: Recommendation 60 proposed that the Government invite the Controller and Auditor-General to monitor Police implementation progress for 10 years. The Office of the Auditor General accepted this invitation upon release of the report in 2007 so progress against this recommendation does not appear in the Quarterly Reports.

    View the Commission of Inquiry quarterly progress reports.
     
  • External monitoring and reporting by the Office of the Auditor-General

    The Office of the Auditor-General monitors Police’s progress in implementing the Commission’s recommendations. Four monitoring reports have been prepared to date, with a final assessment planned for 2017.

    The reports of the Office of the Auditor-General are available on the Controller and Auditor-General website:
  • Change Management Programme progress reviews
    Annual reviews were established to give effect to recommendations 37 and 59 of the COI, which direct Police to work with SSC on various aspects of COI implementation. The first four reviews where conducted by or on behalf of SSC. It was subsequently agreed to move to a self-assessment model, where Police would work collaboratively with SSC to review progress against a set of measures and targets baselined in 2011/12. The Phase Five review was the first of these self-assessments. Since 2014, the annual snapshots of progress in managing the COI-related change process have been published as part of Police’s overall Annual Report.
  • Police Workplace Survey

    The Commission recommended that SSC carry out an independent annual health audit of Police throughout the COI monitoring period (Recommendation 51). To give effect to this recommendation, SSC agreed for Police to implement an annual workplace survey conducted by an independent agency.

    View the complete information on the Police Workplace Survey, including all annual reports.