Drug charge cop 'loved his job' says loyal wife

AMY MAAS
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2013

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The wife of an Auckland policeman accused of drug dealing is defending her husband, saying there's "no way" he's involved with the notorious Head Hunters gang.

In an exclusive interview, Diane Pakau, 33, said she knew her husband, Peter Pakau, "inside out", and the allegations against him were just that.

"I know it's not the truth. There's just no way, man. I'm going to fight this . . . our names have been dragged through the mud. I'm going to make sure we get cleared," she said.

Peter Pakau, 36, was arrested on Friday and faces 27 charges, including manufacturing methamphetamine and collecting debts on behalf of the Head Hunters.

Other charges include conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, conspiring to defeat the course of justice and accessing a computer for dishonest purposes. He faces life imprisonment if found guilty.

Diane Pakau was also arrested on Friday, when she said police searched their house for drugs, guns and money. She faces charges of receiving money, while eight others are facing drug-related charges.

Yesterday, she said her high school sweetheart became a police officer after the tragic death of his brother and sister in a murder-suicide in September 2007.

"At the time friends of ours who were already in the police force were a great support for us during the family tragedy. It was a life-changer," she said.

"He loved his job. I think it was just a life-changing moment when he said ‘I'm going to [join the police]'. He put in the hard work to get fit and upskill himself just to come out and achieve, not only for himself, but for me and the kids."

He graduated from The Royal New Zealand College in 2008, and was among four awarded a section prize for making the "greatest contribution to the overall success of the team".

He was posted to Henderson in West Auckland, where he has been for six years. It was his colleagues and friends who investigated his alleged offending.

Diane Pakau also denies any wrongdoing and refused to make a statement to police. She believes she was charged to keep her away from her co-accused.

"They charged me with receiving money and I thought, ‘Oh, that's lovely, I'd like to see this money.' "

Peter Pakau is in custody in segregation while on remand, as police officers can come in for rough treatment by fellow inmates.

"I've talked to him twice. He's in good hands and I can tell he feels like he's OK," said his wife.

"When I've talked to him, it's all about the kids. All he says is, ‘How are the babies?'

"He's talked to our oldest boy briefly. He's just worried about us, which is normal for him. I tell him, ‘Don't worry, we'll put in the hard yards out here, but you stay tough.' "

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The couple's children have been told about their father's arrest.

"We've been very honest, especially with our older children, but as you can see, the little ones, it hasn't hit them yet that dad's not here. But it will [hit them], and I want to be here when it does."

On Friday, Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said eight of Peter Pakau's co-offenders were Head Hunters gang members or associates.

Pakau is accused of using a police car and accessing a police database in order to pass on information to Head Hunters gang members, Scott said.

The investigation, which started at the end of 2012, allegedly uncovered that Peter Pakau was "taxing" criminals for the Head Hunters.

"That's where criminals take property, money, vehicles off other criminals for debt," said Scott. Pakau's colleagues were "absolutely gutted and bitterly disappointed that somebody could do this to them", he said.

- Sunday Star Times

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