27 Aug 2013

Police wrong to give Naitoko compo details - minister

5:24 pm on 27 August 2013

The acting Police Minister says the police made a mistake in announcing some details of a settlement with the family of a teenager accidentally killed by the police.

Halatau Naitoko, 17, was hit by a bullet as police were chasing a gunman on Auckland's northwestern motorway in 2009.

Police announced on Monday they have paid the family $225,000.

Assistant Police Commissioner Allan Boreham says the money was made up of $100,000 for hardship and suffering and $25,000 towards legal fees.

Those payments were on top of $100,000 given to the family shortly after Mr Naitoko's death.

The family's lawyer, Colin Pidgeon, says that payout was highly confidential and the compensation contract said it would not be mentioned.

He says the family is very distressed because they had to lie to family and friends about the intial payment for four years.

Acting Police Minister Chester Borrows says there has been miscommunication within the police.

Courts Minister Chester Borrows.

Courts Minister Chester Borrows. Photo: RNZ

"The police accept that there has been a mistake in what was expected to be given out publicly and the police, Colin Pidgeon QC and the family are working together to fix that," says Mr Borrows.

He says the last thing the police want to do is embarrass the Naitoko family.

Mr Pidgeon says he had a preliminary meeting with police on Tuesday morning and has agreed to meet with them this week to discuss how to resolve the situation.

He told Morning Report the settlement is now in question and Mr Naitoko's mother has the option not to accept it.

Mr Pidgeon says the family could sue for damages if there has been a breach of their agreement.

The police say they did not want to upset or embarrass the family.