Four police officers used appropriate force when removing an arrested man from Tauranga Hospital in 2018 - but the plan for the removal was inadequate, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found.

A report by the authority, released today, said two days prior to the incident on March 1 that year the man had consumed a large quantity of drugs and suffered a medical episode.

While he was in hospital police found drugs and related items belonging to him. They arrested him and he remained under police guard pending discharge from hospital.

Once discharged, the man refused to accompany police to Tauranga Police Station, so four officers removed him from his hospital bed and tried to place him in handcuffs. He violently resisted, and the resulting fracas lasted several minutes, the report said.


He eventually stopped resisting and was taken from the hospital to the waiting police van.

Hospital staff were concerned by what they had seen and reported the incident to police.

The authority found the force used by the officers to restrain and remove the man was appropriate to deal with his violent resistance and the threat he posed. However, the plan made by the acting sergeant for the removal of the man from the hospital was inadequate.

Authority chairman Judge Colin Doherty said: "The man's behaviour while in hospital indicated that it was highly likely he would resist; the sergeant should have communicated a proposed plan to hospital staff and explored what options were available to prevent disruption."

Bay of Plenty police said in a statement they acknowledged the findings and the officer responsible for the plan had received additional command and control training, and the other officers involved had also received further training.

Police also worked with Tauranga Hospital staff after the incident to agree on a new protocol to deal with situations when patients under arrest, or who are going to be arrested, are discharged and removed from hospital.