Tiki Taane in trouble again? Tiki responds

By Kieran Campbell of APNZ, Annemarie Quill


Singer Tiki Taane is facing new accusations he sprayed police with obscenities in an almost identical outburst to the one that saw him arrested last year.

Police are considering charging the singer amid accusations he chanted "f*** the police" and pointed at patrolling officers late on Saturday night.

Taane was performing at the Mr Cue club in Palmerston North when police entered for a standard inspection of the venue.

Taane reportedly claims the questionable words were lyrics from a song by American rap group NWA - a defence that saw charges against Taane for the same actions dropped last year.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

The performer chose not to speak to media yesterday. A spokeswoman from Tikidub Management said Taane would wait to speak publicly until it was decided if charges would be laid but made an exception for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Responding to media reports that he had been charged by police in Palmerston North after a gig  there Taane told the Bay of Plenty Times that he had not heard from the police.

"They haven't talked with me at all. If apparently they are considering pressing charges, no one really knows what for. Apparently the Palmy police have definitely got their knickers in a twist that I played "F*** Da Police" while they were in the building", he said.<inline type="photogallery" id="9392" align="outside" embed="no" />

Tiki Taane said there was no trouble at the gig, which took place on Sunday at Mr Cue in Palmerston North. "It was an awesome gig! Massive turnout & a choice vibe"

Tiki Taane has recently purchased a house for himself, his partner and young son in Papamoa. He is playing a gig at Waihi Beach Hotel this Saturday, and said he is not afraid of playing the song again.

Asked if he will play the song again at Waihi Beach this week, Tiki told the Bay of Plenty Times this morning.

"I always ask the crowd "do you guys wana hear the song that got me arrested?" and they always scream back "YES!!". So I've gotta give the people what they want, it's the polite thing to do."

``People still mention that incident for sure. It makes for a great party story. I'm really proud of how that all played out. I stood up to the NZ Police, pleaded a very strong case and ended up winning the war without having to go to battle. Rebel music!''

Inspector Pat Handcock, the area commander at Palmerston North police, said investigators were still determining if Taane was singing a song or directing his comments at officers.

"At this stage, we're just going back through some of the various accounts of people that were there. We'll make an assessment in terms of exactly what happened and whether or not Tiki Taane has transgressed the law," Mr Handcock said.

It comes as an encore to the almost identical performance that saw Taane arrested last year during a gig at Illuminati Superclub in Tauranga.

Taane had charges against him dropped after he explained he was singing the same NWA song.

Despite a repeat of trouble, the singer has retained the support of power company Mercury Energy, which hired Taane to cover the song Over The Rainbow for an advertising campaign and is contributing all proceeds from sales of the song to the Starship Foundation.

Mercury Energy general manager James Munro yesterday said the company was "really pleased" to have had Taane cover the track for their campaign.

"Tiki has a good relationship with Mercury and the Starship Foundation and has been, and continues to be, generous with his time in helping to raise money for sick children," Mr Munro said.

Starship Foundation chief executive Brad Clark also stood behind Taane, saying the foundation was "grateful for Tiki's generous and heartfelt support".

Mr Handcock said an internal inquiry would discover by the end of the week if there was any cause for a full investigation into Taane's behaviour.

Taane could face a charge of disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence or disorder.

"I reiterate we are just looking at what happened and if it turns out to be ... nothing we are not going to pursue it and waste time and resources on it by going out and trying to locate a whole bunch of other witnesses and things like that," Mr Handcock said.

"But if there is something in it that would suggest a criminal offence has been committed, we would be required to make some further investigations."

Dancers dressed as police officers joined Taane when he performed his song Freedom To Sing at last year's Vodafone Music Awards.

The move was described as Taane offering an olive branch to officers he'd previously offended.

Taane has previously worked with police to front an anti-family violence campaign, Mr Handcock said.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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