Police acknowledge the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) in relation to decision-making in a
sexual assault investigation in Palmerston North.
The IPCA found that the decision-making was sound, and there was no conflict of interest on the part of any officer
involved in the investigation.
“Police conducted a thorough investigation in relation to this sexual assault complaint, and the decision not to
prosecute was made after a robust examination of the evidence by experienced officers,” says Superintendent Chris de
Wattignar, Central District Commander.
“At the time the sexual assault complaint was reported to police, we were also alerted to a potential conflict of
interest on the part of a senior officer at Palmerston North station, due to a friendship with the alleged offender in
“We took immediate steps to ensure that officer would not be involved in the investigation in any way.”
At the conclusion of the investigation, the detective in charge travelled from Palmerston North to Waikato to meet with
the complainant and provide a comprehensive explanation of the decision not to proceed with a prosecution.
We note the IPCA’s finding that this meeting should have been followed up with a formal letter outlining the reasons for