26 January 2000
Rt Hon Helen Clark
Dear Prime Minister
It has been reported that Police Commissioner Peter Doone will relinquish his
duties on 29th February and will then commence employment in the Crime
Prevention Unit of Prime Minister and Cabinet for an initial period of 6
There is no doubt in my mind that Commissioner Doone should have relinquished
his position or be relieved of his duties. His actions surrounding the
incident on 27 November were clearly undesirable and inappropriate. The public
perception emanating from the incident poses a serious threat to the integrity
of policing in New Zealand and for that reason alone his departure is an
My concern is with the accommodation of Peter Doone within the Department of
Prime Minister and Cabinet on full Police Commissioner's pay. It appears that
Peter Doone will be earning more than the Director of the Crime Prevention Unit
and indeed more than yourself as Prime Minister. Your Party campaigned
strongly against golden handshakes for disgraced senior public servants and yet
many would see this accommodation as a thinly disguised golden handshake. Mr
Doone will no longer carry the onerous workload and responsibility that he did
as Commissioner and in the public eyes he will have a "cushy little number" on
a very large salary that is no longer commensurate with his duties and
I believe there are a number of questions arising from the arrangements within
your Department which in the interests of transparency the public should be
Who will Mr Doone report to? Will it be through the Director of the Crime
Prevention Unit and will she be responsible for his output?
If Mr Doone continues as a sworn police officer under secondment to the Crime
Prevention Unit, what responsibility will the new Police Commissioner have for
Mr Doones activities?
Will Mr Doone's salary of $275,000 per annum continue to be funded from
Vote:Police or will it be necessary for you to further expand the funding for
the Department for Prime Minister and Cabinet to accommodate Mr Doone?
In addition to answering these questions will you please provide me with the
full formal job description for Mr Doone, Mr Doone's position within the
Department and the achievement targets he is to meet.
I also request a copy of all correspondence between the Attorney General, your
colleague Margaret Wilson, and Mr Doone's lawyers who brokered this exit deal.
I also request copies of the testimonials that came from the Maori community
asking that Peter Doone be kept on in this role. Please consider this a
request under the Official Information Act 1982.
My concern is that unless a proper justification can be given for Mr Doones
contract then the public perception will be that your Department is being used
as green pasture land to disguise Mr Doone's golden handshake. Far from being
open and transparent such actions could well be perceived as dishonest and
deceitful by the public.
The clarification of these issues would be much appreciated and I look forward
to receiving this requested information.
ACT New Zealand