Politics

Waitangi Dildo: What the chilling police reports reveal

We requested police records on the destruction of the Waitangi Dildo under the Official Information Act. What we got back left us with more questions than answers.

At first glance, it’s just another Government form. The police property sheet noting the final destination of the Waitangi Dildo is nothing flashy. Nothing new. A jumble of official-sounding words ending with a sad coda: ‘Destruction, 10/2/2016’.

PropertyRecordFull

But a closer look reveals a hornet’s nest of trouble. A snake pit of uncertainty. Myriad questions. Scarce answers.

For one thing, what happened when the dildo went dark?

PropertyRecordDates

For almost a week, local media were clamouring for answers on the world’s most talked-about dildo. Their international counterparts were flocking to cover its famous flight into Steven Joyce’s face. They tracked down the thrower. They got responses from the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition. John Oliver even got Peter Jackson to swing a dildo-emblazoned flag.

During the height of its cultural impact, the dildo was mired in police custody. It was seized on February 5. On February 10, it was suddenly and summarily taken from its cell to be executed.

Where was its cell? We can’t say, because the property record tells us only that it was seized at Kerikeri police station.

PropertyRecordLocation

What happened during that five-day dark zone? Was the dildo chained up; interrogated for answers? What prompted the sudden and seemingly random decision to destroy it? Was it even given a last meal?

We’ll never know. In response to an OIA request, police said there were no emails to or from Northland police about the fate of the dildo. That seems strange. But perhaps it’s because its life and death were the exclusive purview of one man.

PropertyRecordSignature

Maybe it’s paranoia, but all those signatures look very similar. We know from earlier that Inspector Chris McLellan eliminated the Waitangi Dildo. But was he also the man who seized it and witnessed its seizure? Were others involved in this important, possibly questionable decision? McLellan is a good man, but can any one man shoulder this kind of burden alone? Did the pressure get to him?

We may never know for sure what happened in those tense moments of crisis; what thoughts flashed through the Inspector’s head when life or death was on the line. But there’s one thing we can be certain of, and it is this: the New Zealand police wrote “1 x Rubber Penis” on an official document available under the OIA.

PropertyRecordPenis

That fact at the very least is not in question.


Read more dildo content:

Hunt for the Waitangi Dildo: A Spinoff special investigation
History in pictures: The 2016 Waitangi dildo incident


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