NZ Police: silent killers and their hush money
Police breached the terms of the $225,000 compensation deal they gave the family of a teenager accidentally shot and killed during crossfire in 2009.
Ivoni Fuimaono was in tears last night over the fact she received $100,000 shortly after Halatau Naitoko's death was made public yesterday.
The mother was forced to sign a confidentiality agreement by former police minister Judith Collins' office and so her family didn't know about the money, her lawyer, Colin Pidgeon QC said.
However Mrs Collins' office says Mr Pidgeon is incorrect and that the matter was handled by the State Services Commission.
It was announced yesterday the family was to be given $225,000.
Following a critical report into the incident by the Independent Police Conduct Authority last year, Mrs Fuimaono filed a $1 million claim for compensation in the High Court at Auckland in March.
In a statement yesterday afternoon, police broke down the $225,000 compensation payment - $100,000 was for the hardship and suffering caused by the accidental death and $25,000 towards the family's legal costs.
"This is in addition to a payment of $100,000 the family received shortly after Halatau's death," the statement said.
Mr Pidgeon said it was agreed by Mrs Fuimaono, himself, senior police officers and their legal representation that the original $100,000 would still be kept confidential. It was paid on the condition that she did not reveal the payment to friends, family, media or even her own lawyer.
And you're not allowed to tell your lawyer! That says it all about the NZ Police cover up mentality and bully tactics. They are a unmitigated disgrace. The (un-named) officer that killed the 17 year old refuses to meet with the family too. So we can add gutless coward to this cowboy's recklessness and inaccuracy.
Far from being critical, the IPCA report - typical of the dependence and deference to police - let's the fatality go as a 'shit happens' scenario. Who loses their job when someone is wrongly shot and killed by police? No-one.
And while the blood money takes years for the NZ Police to cough up - and only after legal proceedings have commenced - spare a thought for the poor guy critical in hospital right now because an Armed Offenders Squad member "accidently" shot the handcuffed man in the back. I posted on this a fortnight ago.
The 33-year-old Hastings man was in Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital after he was shot when a police firearm was accidentally fired.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Investigations Glenn Dunbier said the man had been taken into custody by police and was lying on the ground when it appeared a police firearm was accidentally fired towards the man.
Police spokeswoman Kris McGehan said the shot man was in a critical condition. She would not say where the man had been shot.
They transferred him to Wellington hospital that night so it must have been very serious. The police have closed ranks and are blaming the gun, of course, not the man. There have been no updates on their site since the 17th of August.
On the basis of how they have dealt with the Halatau Naitoko case this victim should be looking at at least a $50,000 gratis payment very shortly - with a substantive claim and pay-out to be made later.
Disturbingly in this case the NZ Police also instructed the St John's Ambulance staff not to tell the media anything. More disturbingly it appears the Roman Catholic Order of St John - the state subsidised private enterprise meat wagons - complied with this request/demand of secrecy. The police are essentially perverting the course of justice when they heavy people into hiding the truth because the purpose of the secrecy is to limit investigation by external agencies and to permit police constables to act unlawfully. They issue such instructions in bad faith. Will they tell us if their latest victim of gunplay dies? Or will they attempt to cover that up too? The IPCA has no information about this on their website despite the police saying in their statement that the IPCA is investigating. There is no confidence in the NZ Police or in the systems of accountability.