An independent inquiry into an incident where a fleeing driver was punched in the arm in Foxton early last year has found the police officer involved was justified in using force.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority this week found that an officer who punched an offender in the arm after receiving a punch to the jaw was justified and his response was reasonable given the circumstances.

The IPCA had investigated the use of force as concerns were raised by two other officers involved in the man's arrest.

NZ Police acknowledged the findings of the IPCA in relation to the use of force after the incident, but also praised the other officers involved for raising their concerns in what was an internal complaint.

"I would like to acknowledge those two officers, who did the right thing by speaking up," says Superintendent Chris de Wattignar, Central District Commander.

"It is important that any concerns about officers' actions are raised through the correct forums so they can be reviewed and examined, as has happened in this case."

The officer punched the man on his arm in an attempt to release the man's grip, after the man had punched him in the jaw and pulled him against his car, reducing the officer's ability to breathe.

"Given the force the man was using in order to resist arrest, the officer's actions have been found to be proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances," he said.
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