Anyone that saw Louise on a recent show where she was welcomed to police headquarters in Wellington would have seen the sudden delight on her face when one of the reporters later told her that the Commissioner of Police Peter Marshall had referred to her as a friend of the police. I think Marshall's message was clear, that Louise had done the right think in pursuing her case against police for terrible events that happened to her in her teenage years, because it had caused police to look at themselves, resulted in an in-depth inquiry which resulted in some police being imprisoned and Louise's own case brought before the Courts.
She described that case as a victory to her, because she had prevailed in having the previous police officers and one serving member brought to task. That they were found not guilty didn't detract from what she had achieved - one small woman standing up for herself.
Last night on 3 Degrees we got to see her again, she is not the sort of person capable of 'hiding' her feelings and I think I saw the level of shock when it was revealed to her what had happened as the result of some police not doing their jobs properly, and others who did their job corruptly - resulting in Malcom Rewa the serial rapist, 'harvesting' more victims for over a decade after one of his first victims complained to the police and in fact identified him by name, after being told by a police man in Glen Innes, Auckland, that the woman needed to name the offender.
Louise rightly pointed out that those victims should be compensated, If there is a 'class' action case worth taking in New Zealand this is it and many will watch this story unfold, hopefully with Marshall playing a leading hand.
As an aside, it was interesting watching Louise answer the question about Pora's innocence. To me she certainly hesitated before affirming her belief that he was innocent. In that split second delay I think Louise showed what many might feel, where there is smoke there if fire to some extent - showing her conservative and cautious side. I think it also summed up a further disadvantage that Pora faces - his 'association' with Rewa, completely untrue as it is, naturally slips into the minds of some; that what is bad about Rewa, is also somehow 'bad' about Pora.
Considering that for a moment, and also I think the 'awkwardness' of the questions put to some of the 'guests' on last night's show to confirm the situation with Pora is the most pressing in this whole mess showed some clumsiness of thought. In my opinion none of those effected by the police actions and inactions is more pressing than the others, they share equal importance. While Pora needs to be let go, this very day also someone with the appropriate power should be putting in place at least an offer of remedy to all those victimised by Rewa and the police facilitation of that. It's time to act.