15 February 2012 - The Chair of the Independent Police Conduct Authority, Justice Lowell Goddard, has released the following statement regarding the progress of the investigation into the shooting of Halatau Naitoko.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has completed its detailed investigation into the death of Mr Naitoko and the wounding of Richard Neville and Stephen McDonald on 23 January 2009. The three men were shot by Police who had been pursuing Mr McDonald along the North Western Motorway in Auckland. He had threatened members of the public and Police with a firearm, fired at the Police helicopter and at pursuing officers, and stolen vehicles and other property at gunpoint.
Justice Goddard confirmed the Authority’s draft report has now been given to the Commissioner of Police, to provide him and other officers and staff with the opportunity to comment on its findings and recommendations. This natural justice process is provided for in section 31 of the IPCA Act.
Justice Goddard said she regarded the investigation as one of the most intricate and complex undertaken by the Authority. The Authority interviewed Police officers and non-sworn staff, examined forensic material and ESR reconstructions of the event, reviewed Police policies and relevant legislation, and sought advice from independent scientists and medical experts.
“The circumstances of Mr Naitoko’s death were tragic and his loss remains a source of huge grief for his family. I have personally kept in regular contact with his mother and other family throughout this extensive investigation and have been acutely aware of their need for resolution to this case,” she said.
“I have asked the Commissioner of Police to respond to the Authority’s draft report by 9 March 2012. The Authority intends to report publicly as soon as practicable after this date.”