Singer Tiki Taane is to appear in court after he allegedly sang the rap anthem F*** the Police at a Tauranga nightclub while officers were conducting an inspection.

Taane, 34, a former member of Salmonella Dub, spent a few hours in the cells at Tauranga police station early on Sunday after his altercation with the police at the Illuminati nightclub, where he was master of ceremonies for DJ Dick Johnson.

He is charged with disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.

The Sunlive.co.nz website reported that people at the gig said Taane began singing the song as officers carried out a routine inspection.

"When they approached him afterwards things got out of hand," said a person who did not want to be named.

Yesterday Taane's manager and sister Nina Kaye could not confirm if he had sung the song from the 1988 NWA album Straight Outta Compton.

"I wasn't there so I can't say and that's the end of that, but I know that Tiki has sung that song in the last 15 years of his career.

"We grew up in Christchurch and were right into Public Enemy and NWA when we were kids and we used to sing it all the time.

"I guess it was a bit of a favourite for him which he took into the performance arena."

A man who asked not to be named said his friend, a bar manager, was arrested with Taane as he tried to intervene. He was charged with obstruction and resisting arrest.

The man believed it was "possibly a poor song choice" but the police response was an over-reaction.

"I think more than anything the crowd just got involved with the song and not the police," he said.

"We've had sets before and played Bad Boys when the police came in but at least some had a sense of humour about it."

The acting area commander for Western Bay of Plenty, Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair, said police had visited the tavern in the Tauranga CBD earlier that night as part of their regular pub checks.

As a result of an incident while they were at the tavern, they returned after the bar closed at 3am to speak to staff and entertainers.

Ms Kaye said Taane was released from custody on bail on Sunday morning. He met his lawyer yesterday afternoon.

She did not know how he would plead in court on Friday.

"Tiki has always been a good boy, he's never gotten in trouble before so it's a bit of a shock. To be honest, I don't think he did anything wrong ... there are worse crimes in the world."

On Facebook, Tiki Taane Tikidub Productions yesterday posted that "freedom of speech is a human right" and "all our love and thorts are with everyone who attended the Tauranga gig last nite and in particular those who were present early hours this morning ... we sincerely hope you are all ok ..."

The "Tikidub Whanau" encouraged fans to send an email if they needed "anything in relation to what occurred".