A police officer was allegedly knocked unconscious by a 15-year-old as he attended an incident at a Pukekohe house at the weekend.
The same night, two officers in Whakatane were assaulted on duty - one was kicked in the face and spat at and the other had to be rescued by a member of the public after he was pushed to the ground and set upon.
In Pukekohe, police were attending an incident at a house on Saturday night when the officer was allegedly attacked from behind with a king hit-style punch to the head. He was rendered unconscious and assisted by other officers. A teenager has been charged with assault and possession of an offensive weapon and will appear before the Youth Court on March 24.
The officer was taken to Middlemore Hospital by ambulance but has been discharged and is recovering at home. He did not want to comment.
In Whakatane, an officer was assaulted after he stopped a vehicle. It is alleged that the driver pushed the officer to the ground and assaulted him.
The attack only stopped when a member of the public came to the officer's aid. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for concussion and facial injuries. A 61-year-old Whakatane man has been charged with injuring with intent to injure.
The same night a second Whakatane officer suffered facial bruising during the arrest of a woman for disorderly behaviour. The 29-year-old from Tauranga allegedly kicked the officer in the face and spat at him. She is facing charges of resisting police, common assault and disorderly behaviour.
Counties Manukau Police District Commander Superintendent John Tims said attacks on police were unacceptable. "The welfare of our staff is important to us," he said. "Police should not be subject to any kind of physical violence while in the role of protecting the community."
A spokesman for Commissioner Mike Bush said police took the safety of staff seriously and worked "very hard" to ensure their officers were well trained, equipped and supported to carry out their jobs.
"In recent years this has included improved tactical training, the introduction of SRBA, greater access to tactical options such as Taser and firearms, and the introduction of officer safety alarms for those working in remote areas," he said. "Police also continue to review critical incidents to ensure our tactical responses remain in line with best practice and to identify any lessons that can help us ensure our staff and the public continue to be kept safe."
Police Minister Michael Woodhouse was aware of the assaults over the weekend.
"The safety and well-being of our police is very important and I find the recent assaults on our officers very concerning," he said.
"Police play an important role in protecting the community and any kind of physical violence towards officers is simply unacceptable."
Police Association president Greg O'Connor said some seemed to believe it was ok to "have a go" at officers and they would not fight back. "It's very difficult out there, particularly for our responding staff. They are the ones suffering."