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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Attribute to Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Acting Inspector Tristan Murray:

Police are continuing to maintain a high presence and acting on unlawful behaviour as the tangi for Steven Taiatini gets under way.

Police are out in large numbers stopping vehicles and collecting footage of reckless driving behaviour and the registered owners of these vehicles will be identified, with a view to impounding vehicles doing burnouts and issuing infringement notices for other breaches of the Land Transport Act.

In other instances of dangerous driving the owners will be charged and put before the Court.

We will continue to maintain a strong presence in the hours to come.

A section of State Highway 2 was closed while the funeral procession travelled from Ōpōtiki towards Whakatāne, however a section of this has now reopened.

We are conscious of the disruption this may have caused to our locals in the area and we would like to thank members of the community who have been in touch with us, and for their patience as the large procession passed through the district this morning.

The group is expected to travel back towards Ōpōtiki this afternoon and the westbound section of road is expected to be closed for a short time from between 2-2.30pm.

Police will continue to maintain a visible presence on the roads for the rest of the day, and we urge all those travelling on our roads to not act in a way that puts others at risk.

Our message to the community is: If you are concerned about your safety in regards to the gathering, or witness illegal behaviour happening now, please call 111 immediately.

To report or send in any footage of the group causing concern, we encourage you to file a report online at, call Police on 105, or report anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or


Anna Thompson/NZ Police