Singer Tiki Taane has confirmed he was handcuffed and arrested for disorderly behaviour after singing the N.W.A rap anthem F*** The Police at a Tauranga nightclub.

Taane, 34, a former member of Salmonella Dub, spent a few hours in the cells at Tauranga police station after being arrested at 3:25am on Sunday for an altercation with police at the Illuminati nightclub, where he was master of ceremonies for DJ Dick Johnson.

He is set to appear in Tauranga District Court on Friday to face a charge of disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.

Taane said he had regularly played the N.W.A protest song, written by rapper Ice Cube in 1988, at R18 shows throughout his career.

The "unfortunate" incident on Sunday happened after a police officer became upset at the song's lyrics, he said.

"I have had an excellent rapport with the NZ Police and I intend to keep that relationship positive. I'm 34 years old and this is my first ever offence, and I feel it is unfortunate that one particular police officer became upset with the N.W.A lyrics I sang that night."

Taane said the concert promoter was also arrested but was released uncharged.

Acting area commander for Western Bay of Plenty Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair yesterday confirmed a New Zealand musician was arrested.

He said police could not comment further because the case was before the courts.

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 N.W.A 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".