US diplomat forced to leave New Zealand after being involved in 'serious criminal incident'

Shehab Khan
Hampshire College has said the removal of the flag will allow staff to focus on a rise in hate crime: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A US diplomat has been forced to leave New Zealand after he was allegedly involved in a serious criminal incident.

The man, who has diplomatic immunity, apparently suffered a broken nose and a black eye.

New Zealand police were called to Lower Hutt, just outside Wellington, where the US embassy is based, after reports of an incident.

The diplomat left the scene before the officers arrived and no arrests were made, The Guardian reported.

New Zealand police have apparently asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) to waive the man’s diplomatic immunity so they can investigate.

MFAT asked the US embassy to do so and after they refused, the ministry requested the diplomat leave New Zealand.

Foreign diplomats in New Zealand have immunity from criminal processes but must abide by the law and wave their immunity if they are requested to do so.

In a statement, the US embassy said it could not comment on the incident.

“We take seriously any suggestion that our staff have fallen short of the high standards of conduct expected of US government personnel,” the statement said.