Charge against Tiki Taane dropped

By Michele McPherson

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Tauranga police have dropped a charge against Tiki Taane following a mediation meeting with the popular Kiwi musician.

Taane, who moved to Papamoa in January, was arrested in the early hours of April 10 for singing a track by rap group NWA that is derogatory to police at the same time police did a walk-through at Tauranga club Illuminati.

 At the time Taane claimed it was not his intention to rile police officers during the R18 gig, but he was charged with acting in a disorderly manner likely to incite violence.

He pleaded not guilty and news of the charge being dropped follows recent reports an October 4 court date,  to confirm a defended hearing date, would clash with Taane's European tour with fellow Kiwi musicians Shapeshifter.

Tauranga Police Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair said a mediation meeting between the two parties had resulted in a mutual understanding and the charge against Taane being dropped.

Mr Wright-St Clair said police proposed the meeting with Mr Taane to see if the matter could be resolved by way of mediation, similar to the restorative justice process.<inline type="video" id="11799" align="normal"/>

 The police and Mr Taane believed that this approach could lead to a better outcome for both parties, he said.

 "The parties involved were able to openly express their views on how the events had unfolded and what they were thinking at the time. As a result of the meeting, the police involved and Mr Taane now have a better understanding of how this event impacted on each other," Mr Wright-St Clair said.

 The parties agreed Mr Taane's arrest resulted from a misunderstanding.

 Police respect the right of Mr Taane to express himself as an entertainer.

 At the time the police believed the lyrics sung by Mr Taane could inflame the situation after security removed a patron from the nightclub. After the mediation meeting the police are now clear that this was not his intention," Mr Wright-St Clair said.

At the meeting Taane reiterated his belief that the police did a fantastic job and often had to work in very difficult situations.

Taane did not return calls from the Bay of Plenty Times.


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- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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