Moral Panic - Child Sexual Abuse

Focus on People

Howard Broad
Destroyed the careers and previously unblemished
reputations of four well-qualified, experienced and
dedicated child care workers

Appointed NZ Commissioner of Police, 2006


This page last updated July 2 2006

Appointed Commissioner
On April 4 2006, Howard Broad was appointed New Zealand's top cop, the Commissioner of Police:  This was officially announced by the police and government:
2006-0404 - NZ Police - New Police Commissioner and Deputies Appointed
2006-0404 - NZ Government - New Police Commissioner and deputies appointed

His official credentials
The announcement was accompanied by the normal justification for such an appointment.  For example Police Minister Annette King says Broad brings "excellent strategic thinking and management abilities, along with strong frontline experience to the role"  His CV included 30 years with the police. 
2006-0404 - One News - Police commissioner named
2006-0404 - Stuff - Assistant Commissioner now the top cop

What Broad said himself
Broad himself claims to "think liberally"and that he realises the "enormity of his task". He is "committed to restoring public confidence" to the police.  He raised "a question for the police" asking " are we able to step up to the mark and answer the scrutiny the organisation underwent"
2006-0405 - Dominion Post - If ever there was an easy time to take over
2006-0405 - Dominion Post - Outsider wins race for top police post
2006-0405 - NZ Herald - Policeman on mission to restore confidence

The reaction of others
Mostly silent.  Frontline police spoken to by The Dominion Post expressed surprise at the appointment.  The police Association welcomed his appointment. There was little else.  (This site will be willing to publish any reports praising Broad at the time of his appointment, if such reports exist)
2006-0405 - Dominion Post - Outsider wins race for top police post

Howard Broad's dark past
However, Broad had a dark past, which had not been mentioned in the appointment announcements, or by Broad himself:  His role in the Peter Ellis investigation.  Author Lynley Hood made a press release which stated that

Howard Broad’s press conference in October 1992 destroyed the careers and previously unblemished reputations of four well-qualified, experienced and dedicated child care workers.

Lynley Hood also made comment about his appointment as Commissioner:

With Howard Broad’s appointment as the country’s top police officer, there is a real risk that ongoing damage caused to the fabric of New Zealand society by sex abuse hysteria and false allegations will continue unabated.

Dr Hood's comments were also reported by NZPA
2006-0404 - NZPA - New Top Cop was involved in Peter Ellis investigation
2006-0405 - Scoop - Howard Broad (by Lynley Hood)

What had to say issued a press release:
2006-0405 - - New Commissioner unable to restore public confidence
Seeking justice for Peter Ellis and other victims, both past

and present, of the New Zealand sex abuse moral panic

New Police Commissioner unable to restore public confidence in police

Press Release

5 April 2006


New Police Commissioner Howard Broad may wistfully hope to restore public confidence in the police force.  But his own direct involvement in the Christchurch Crèche investigation now means that New Zealand's top cop is himself hopelessly compromised by his own past, spokesperson Brian Robinson announced today.

The Christchurch Crèche case is now recognised by the majority of New Zealanders as an obvious miscarriage of justice.  Howard Broad has never admitted that mistakes were made by himself or any other officer in that investigation. Howard Broad has has also never apologised to any of the Christchurch Crèche staff for his own actions in unnecessarily destroying their careers and reputations.

The Christchurch Crèche case remains symptomatic of why public confidence in the police has eroded. Until Howard Broad understands and is willing to acknowledge his own failings, he remains incapable of leadership in restoring any sort of confidence for the organisation that he now leads.