A policewoman is being investigated following a complaint that she assaulted a taxi driver earlier this month.
The officer is Constable Jenny McNee, who is based in Queenstown but currently on unpaid leave from work for unrelated reasons.
It is claimed Mrs McNee verbally abused the driver and grabbed him while she and her husband were travelling home in the back of a taxi earlier this month.
Mrs McNee declined to comment when approached by the Herald yesterday.
However, her lawyer, Nic Soper, confirmed Mrs McNee had received a "written notice" from police that an assault complaint had been laid against her and was being investigated.
He then threatened the Herald with legal action if Mrs McNee's name was published and said she had taken voluntary unpaid leave to deal with a medical condition.
Otago Rural acting area commander Inspector Andrew Burns confirmed police were investigating an incident, but would not confirm the officer's identity.
"Police confirm that they have received a complaint in relation to an alleged assault involving a police constable and a taxi driver which occurred in Queenstown early this month," he said.
"Police take these kinds of complaints extremely seriously and a criminal investigation is under way. Because of this investigation, police aren't able to provide further details at this time."
He said the officer had been on leave "for some time" and was not expected back until early next year.
"It's an allegation at this stage."
The taxi company, Queenstown Taxis 2011, declined to comment.
However, a source with knowledge of the case said the allegation was that Mrs McNee had abused her driver, before "manhandling" him.
Video footage from the taxi had been provided to police, he said.