A man has been charged with assaulting police in Hastings after cops tried to break up a group of people who were flouting lockdown laws by gathering in the central city.

Hawke's Bay police now want to speak to a woman who witnessed the incident, and was allegedly threatened by the man as she walked past.

Police were on Monday about 1pm speaking with a group of people who had congregated on Queen Street East, Hastings in the ASB Bank carpark and reminding them that due to the Alert Level 4 restrictions, they shouldn't be gathering.

One 38-year-old man in the group became "aggressive", a police spokesperson said.

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The man was allegedly yelling and threatening police and a woman who was walking past before an altercation that led to his arrest.

The arrested man was charged with common assault and assaults police and will be appearing in Hastings District Court today.

If you were in the area of the ASB Bank carpark at around 1pm yesterday and witnessed this incident please contact Hastings Police on 06 873 0500 and quote file number 200406/9616.