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Police should have enforced lockdown restrictions that would have barred dozens of people gathering for a Black Power tangi in Dunedin, National Party police spokesman Brett Hudson says.
The Otago Daily Times this week reported police allowed dozens of Black Power members and associates to gather for a tangi in Dunedin on April 30.
Some of them also blocked roads with their motorcycles, and later gathered again at a gang pad in Pine Hill, according to internal police emails.
Many also travelled from out of the city to attend, in breach of travel restrictions.
Mr Hudson said police had a responsibility to apply the rules fairly and consistently.
"The gang connections were able to flout a number of rules that everyone else was expected to follow, with, if not an actual endorsement, at least a tacit acceptance that nothing could be done about it."
Police did not respond to a request for comment regarding Mr Hudson’s comments yesterday.
But on Wednesday, southern Maori responsiveness manager Inspector Damion Rangitutia said the whanau "broadly" adhered to restrictions and were open to police involvement before and after the tangi.
"Any breaches observed were brought up with the whanau and dealt with in an appropriate manner."