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Leading culture change at New Zealand Police (A) 2008-82.1

7 March 2008



On 3 April 2007, New Zealand’s top policeman, Commissioner Howard Broad, prepared to face the media to give his response to the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct. Speculation had been building ahead of the release of the 322-page report, which revealed evidence of disgraceful conduct by police officers. For more than three years, allegations of sexual assault against members of the police dating back to the late 1970s had swirled around, creating a media storm. Not only were the allegations horrific, but some involved one of the highest ranking officers in New Zealand Police. Although the Inquiry also noted there had been improvements in police culture and that there was no effort of an organisation-wide cover-up, Broad was faced with a daunting task of restoring public confidence in the police. He knew he needed an action plan for leading culture change at New Zealand Police.

This case looks at organisational culture and conduct, especially in police organisations. It can be used to discuss an organisation’s obligations to report misconduct and what some of the barriers were in this instance. Part A describes background information and an overview of the Inquiry’s findings.

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Part B details the Inquiry’s recommendations and further developments that emerged after April 2007.

Authors: Todd Bridgman
Published Date: 7 March 2008
Author Institution: Victoria University of Wellington
Content Length: 7
Product Type: Case with teaching note, Part A, Primary resources