A senior police officer under inquiry for texting while driving has had to replace a concrete post on his neighbour's property after smashing it up with a sledgehammer.
Inspector Turepu Keenan was seen reducing a fencepost to dust and rubble after neighbour Richard Brown had only just erected it. Brown called police to report the damage - and was told the sledgehammer attack was "a civil matter".
However, Brown said Senior Sergeant Darryl Simeti, officer in charge of the Balmoral police station, stood by as the post was replaced by a tradesman.
Auckland police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said there were no hard and fast rules on when police would supervise a civil matter.
Brown's fence was fixed within days of Keenan being snapped with his cellphone in hand - apparently while driving. Police are still investigating the incident.