Tiki Taane accused of taunting police

VICKI WATERHOUSE
Last updated 12:23 29/05/2012
Tiki Taane
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
CONTROVERSIAL CHART-TOPPER: Musician Tiki Taane has been accused of taunting police officers during a Palmerston North performance.

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Chart-topping musician Tiki Taane could face charges after he chanted obscenities in front of police officers at a Palmerston North gig.

Taane, whose song Always On My Mind topped the New Zealand music charts for two weeks, was performing at the Bassy Bizniz show at Mr Cue in Taonui St when police turned up.

Acting Palmerston North Inspector Brett Calkin said police entered Mr Cue to perform a routine inspection about 1.15am on Sunday.

Taane began chanting the words "F*** the police", prompting the officers to speak to a person associated with the singer, Calkin said. "He apparently stopped using that terminology."

But when police went to leave, Taane resumed his earlier chants, Calkin said.

"It would appear that he has begun taunting the police again by yelling "F*** the police" and pointing to the door as they left.

"Apparently the crowd were laughing, but fortunately there was no violence towards the police."

He said police were considering their options in relation to charges.

"We're not discounting that at this stage," he said.

Calkin said it was not the sort of behaviour to be expected from someone of Taane's standing in the community.

"It's extremely disappointing that police officers are going into licensed premises and doing their job and they are being taunted by well-known individuals, such as Tiki Taane."

Taane found himself in a Tauranga courthouse after a similar incident in April last year. He was charged with acting in a disorderly manner likely to incite violence after he sang the NWA song F*** Tha Police during a performance at Illuminati club.

The charge was dropped after mediation between Taane and Tauranga police.

Taane told the Manawatu Standard he did sing the NWA song in Palmerston North, but said he performed it at all of his shows.

"Sometimes we also play Bob Marley's I Shot The Sheriff and Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up and many other controversial songs," he said.

"Some people find these songs extremely offensive and others think they're amazing."

Taane said it was not illegal to perform the songs and he had received positive feedback about the show.

He dismissed the allegation that he pointed at police as they left, while singing the NWA song.

"I'm on stage in front of 450 people, and I'm sure every single one of them will say I pointed my finger at them at some stage during the night," he said.

Concert-goer Reuben Crowther said the crowd found it amusing the song was played as the police walked in.

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"It got the crowd going quite hard, so it was quite good," he said.

"Everyone was singing along but nobody was going up to the police that I saw."

- Manawatu Standard

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