'Police failed to follow their own training'

By Taroi Black

Police have been asked by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) to review its investigation into the death of Jamie Kaiwai nearly two years ago. 

Kaiwai's cousin, Jonique Oli-Alainu'uese lodged a formal complaint to the IPCA the 'police failed to follow their own training' in her recent Facebook video post, Justice for Jamie Kaiwai.    

Te Ao Māori News understands Kaiwai's whānau felt let down by police as it didn't consider her disappearance 'suspicious', when the 27-year-old went missing on the morning of Thursday, October 10, 2019. 

Whānau say police attributed her disappearance to mental health troubles and cannabis use. 

When her vehicle was found unlocked at the Tologa Bay wharf, her keys still inside and blood discovered on both her damp clothes and in her room at the Tologa Bay Inn, the investigation continued.  

However, Oli-Alainu'uese's complaint did not result in the IPCA initiating an independent investigation.

Upon completion, police would notify the IPCA of their findings, and communicate the outcome of the review to the designated point-of-contact identified by the whānau. 

"The police stand by their investigation - they may have convinced themselves that they have done the best in their ability to find Jamie. But they have never convinced me", Oli-Alainu'uese says. 

Te Ao Mārama reached out to the IPCA for comment but it is prevented from providing further information why it took this approach. 

"We're all happy and that it is a positive start but we're just waiting. We've learnt not to get our hopes up."