NZ Police have accepted the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) review of the withdrawal of prosecution concerning a fatal motorbike crash near Lake Rotorua in January 2019.
In 2019, Police conducted an investigation into the fatal crash and subsequently charged a man with careless driving causing death. On 19 May 2020, after the matter had been before the Court for 10 months, a Police prosecutor withdrew the charge.
Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers says given the nature of the charge and the circumstances, it would have been more appropriate to refer the prosecution back to Court for a Judge to consider and decide if the charge should be dismissed.
“Our Bay of Plenty staff have met with the victim’s whānau to apologise for the grief that this caused them, at a time when they were dealing with the loss of a loved one.”
“We sincerely regret the impact that this protracted matter has had on the victim’s whānau, and we resolve to do better.”
Police accept that there were some shortcomings in this serious crash investigation. Numerous steps are now in place to mitigate and ensure that the process is more robust, they said in a statement.
In June 2022, the Bay of Plenty District Road Policing Manager acknowledged and apologised for errors in the Police investigation.