Police approved the use of genuine police uniforms to be worn by performers on stage with Tiki Taane at the New Zealand Music Awards.
The gesture was an olive branch after Taane was arrested at a Tauranga nightclub in April for singing an NWA track that is derogatory to police, while police did a walk-through of the club. The charge was dropped in September.
Acting Police Commissioner Viv Rickard confirmed yesterday that the "officers" on stage with the Papamoa singer at the awards show on Thursday night were dancers - not police.
"Mr Taane approached us a while ago and asked if some of our officers could appear on stage with him during his performance of Freedom To Sing. While we were pleased to be asked, we are not able to facilitate those kinds of requests. However, we did approve the use of four uniforms for Mr Taane's dancers to wear during the performance. Congratulations to him for his awards, it is good to see him doing well," he said.
Mr Rickard said police and Taane had come to an agreement a month ago. "We worked through the matter and Mr Taane has now volunteered to be a family violence spokesperson in one of our districts and it is fantastic to have someone of his profile and youth to be able to connect to our communities about such a serious and important issue."
It is an offence to impersonate a police officer, but police provide uniforms at times for filming or theatrical purposes. These requests are considered on a case by case basis.