National | Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA)

Police won't release unlawful photographing of rangatahi report, yet

Police won't release their internal review into a practice of unlawfully photographing rangatahi, until it’s been looked at by independent watchdogs.

An inquiry was launched after revelations Police had been stopping and photographing young Māori in the Wairarapa and Whanganui, without cause.

Some rangatahi as young as 14 were stopped and photographed in broad daylight. The images were submitted to an internal policing database.

After the revelations emerged, the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) announced a joint investigation, in addition to Police’s internal inquiry.

Police say as a result of the investigation they will stop photographing young people illegally and delete all photos already in the system; they claim officers were acting with the best of intentions and did not know what they were doing was unlawful.

The IPCA tells Radio New Zealand the joint report is "well advanced" and will be released by April.