The officer-in-charge of Warkworth police, Sergeant Bede Haughey, will likely transfer to Orewa following allegations of unsatisfactory performance.
Sgt Haughey has confirmed that he has been advised that he is due to transfer to Orewa on September 18 and the news had come as “a bit of a shock.”
He declined to go into details concerning the allegations, saying he was exploring legal avenues open to him.
Rodney Police Area Commander Mark Fergus said the matter was an employment issue so, for privacy reasons, he was unable to comment, but it is understood that there are concerns that there is a negative culture in the Warkworth police and that the local force has lost the confidence of the Warkworth community
Inspector Fergus said Warkworth and the surrounding areas were served by a team of “amazing” police officers, who were dedicated to the community that they live in and keeping it safe.
“They have my full support, and we look forward to keeping up the great work they are doing every day,” he said.
Asked if this recommendation included Sgt Haughey, Insp. Fergus said, “Yes, it includes everyone at the station.”
Despite this, it is understood police management will be investigating the workplace culture at Warkworth Police.
Sgt Haughey said he is currently taking some leave to consider his options.
News of his transfer has provoked a shocked response from some in the Mahurangi community.
Matakana School principal Darrel Goosen said Sgt Haughey served as the chairperson of the board of trustees at Matakana School from May 2002 to December 2008 and gave his best for the school and the community.
“He has never failed to respond professionally and efficiently with any help I have required at my school, from traffic problems to bomb threats. He and his officers have served our school community with absolute distinction,” he said. “It would be a sad day to see our local police station stripped of its leader, whom the community knows and respects.”
Mr Goosen’s comments were echoed by Mahurangi College principal David Macleod, who said Sgt Haughey and the local police had his full confidence.
“I have never found them to be anything but supportive, proactive, helpful and great to work with,” he said.
Mr Macleod said he served with Sgt Haughey on the advisory board for the Springboard Community Works Trust, which worked with disadvantaged and at-risk youth in the community.
“Bede has a genuine concern for the youth in our community and has been heavily involved and supportive of this very effective, grassroots community organisation since its inception,” he said.
Mr Macleod said Sgt Haughey lived locally and Warkworth was fortunate to still have a local police station with many local police still working in it. Despite having a close connection with a large number of people and families in the community, Mr Macleod said he had heard no complaints about Sgt Haughey.
“I absolutely do not believe the allegation that Bede and the local police have lost the confidence of our community,” he said.