Abusive Queenstown policewoman resigns

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A taxi firm boss whose driver was racially insulted by an off-duty Queenstown policewoman says they’re relieved she resigned.

Constable Jenny McNee (44), who was found guilty in September of using offensive language against Malaysian-born taxi driver Ganesh Paramanathan while arguing over a fare, resigned yesterday.

Her resignation is effective immediately.

Ms McNee was discharged without conviction when she appeared for sentence in the Queenstown District Court in September, but New Zealand Police began an employment process following the case.

Queenstown Taxis managing director Grant Scannell says: ”I’ve spoken to Ganesh and he’s very relieved.

”We all are because it means we can finally put it to bed. He feels it’s all over and done with now.

”It’s been a long 12 months, a bloody long road.” 

McNee had denied saying: ‘F… off to India. You came here and get all of the Kiwi jobs; eat your f… curry and f… off to India. This is a Kiwi job.’ 

McNee, who was a police officer for 17 years, was on unpaid leave after a failed hip replacement operation when the incident occurred last November.

She said she was on a combination of a high-strength painkiller, Tramadol, and alcohol at the time. In a statement, police said she resigned yesterday. 

Scannell says the close communication from police throughout the case had restored their confidence in the force.

”Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley … [Western Southland sub-area commander] has kept us informed all the way through and been absolutely brilliant.

”She’s given a face back to the police for Ganesh, and his confidence in them is restored.” 

Police spokeswoman Vivien Pullar was asked if disciplinary action against Ms McNee had taken place after last year’s incident and whether Ms McNee’s resignation was the result of any such action.

She says she’s unable to comment.

Southern District commander Superintendent Andrew Coster acknowledged the ”courage”of Paramanathan in bringing the matter to their attention.

”We hope that the professional manner in which this case has been managed has gone some way to restoring his trust and confidence in police,” he said.

”Police officers must maintain the highest standards of behaviour in both their on and off-duty conduct.

”We work for an organisation that prides itself on maintaining high levels of professionalism and strong community relationships .., and we will continue to build partnerships with groups more vulnerable to crime and safety issues, particularly minority groups.”

In the statement, police say all employment matters relating to McNee are now at an end.

Otago Daily Times