A policeman has been disciplined after giving false details to the Rotorua harbourmaster after being caught breaching a bylaw while riding a jetski on a lake.

The Rotorua officer was caught breaching a Bay of Plenty Regional Council bylaw while on a jetski at Lake Okareka earlier this year. The behaviour of the officer and a friend caught the eye of the harbourmaster who stopped them and spoke to them about their actions.

Rotorua police area commander Inspector Bruce Horne said the officer was failing to comply with a regulation requiring an observer to be present when towing a wakeboarder with a jetski.

When spoken to by the harbourmaster the officer and a friend provided the names and addresses of other friends.


Mr Horne said police investigated the incident.

"It was established that there was no criminal intent in his actions but (there) was a breach of the Bay of Plenty regional bylaws," he said.

"The officer was issued with two infringement notices, one for the original offence and the second for providing incorrect details. This amounted to $400."

Mr Horne said the officer faced disciplinary action for his behaviour during the incident.

"The matter was considered as a breach of the code of conduct issue and the officer was subject to disciplinary inquiry," he said. "This matter has been dealt with and appropriate action taken. This was reviewed by Police National Headquarters."

Rotorua Harbourmaster Pererika Makiha could not be reached for comment.

New Zealand Law Society president Jonathan Temm said members of the public expected a "higher standard of honesty and integrity" from police officers.

"They are police officers 24 hours a day, just like lawyers," he said. "Things we do in our private lives may impact our ability to continue our work in the future."


It was disappointing when one member let down the outstanding work of the majority of the police force, Mr Temm said.

Seventeen-year-old Bishop Thompson was fatally injured after falling from a jetski on Lake Okareka last year.

He and two friends were in a group riding three jetskis irresponsibly.

Bishop, who was not wearing a lifejacket, was hurled from the back of his jetski and then struck by Harrison's jetski, suffering "massive head trauma".