Friday, November 04, 2011

Tiki: fake the police

I watched some of the NZ Music Awards last night. There was some great live performances, though unfortunately the live sound didn't seem to translate well to tv. I saw a number of folk on Twitter complaining about the poor live sound.

The songs from those acts that have toured extensively overseas for the past year stood out for me - the performances of Naked and Famous, and Ladi6 in particular were head and shoulders above the other acts. Clearly, playing live a lot makes for some well-honed performers. And go Ladi6 for winning two awards!

Tiki Taane was joined by a handful of fellow musos, like Julia Deans and Hollie Smith, for his song Freedom To Sing, aimed at his run-in with the police earlier this year. Half way thru the song, the tv cameras showed about half a dozen police walking thru the crowd, towards the stage. They joined Tiki on stage, then started dancing and leaping round while Tiki played.

A lot of people thought they were real police. Russell Brown of Media 7/Public Address tweeted "Apparently real cops DANCING ON STAGE with Tiki. Genius."  Marcus Lush tweeted "Real cops on the stage with tiki taane . . Best thing i have seen at a music award ever !"

I replied to Russell, saying the NZ Herald reported earlier in the week that Tauranga police had politely refused Tiki's invitation to join him onstage. The police onstage with Tiki had very authentic looking costumes on. Russell Brown noted that he "Saw them up close before the performance. Really thought they were real cops." 

PeadPR, who handle publicity for the music awards said via Twitter "They're legit". But Wammo from KiwiFm said "My interview with him [Tiki] yesterday [wed] was inconclusive on the matter." 

So, were they real cops? Brown later posted this: "Update: NOT real cops on stage with Tiki, but nightclub bouncers."  NZ Herald reports that the men were wearing real police uniforms. reported that " ... Along with the awards, Auckland's Vector Arena came to life with performances from [Brooke] Fraser and The Naked and Famous, as well as Ladi6, Six60, Avalanche City and [Tiki] Taane, who performed alongside the "love police" in a nod to his brush with the law earlier this year."  Is using fake cops likely to improve Tiki's relationship with the Police or not? Made for a good spectacle tho.

ADDED Dave Roper (promoter and former owner of Zen/Fu Bar) posted this to Twitter "Cracking up at pictures of our old bar manager Rueben Brooker dancing on stage at the NZ Music Awards in a NZ Police uniform."

My fave moment in Tiki's performance was when one of the faux cops put his cap on the head of Tiki's guitarist for the night Aaron Tokona (Cairo Knife Fight), and he was transformed into Zac Wallace in classic NZ film Utu. Choice.

UPDATED Official Police statement on Tiki and the polcie uniforms... source

November 4, 2011, 2:24 pm
"Acting Police Commissioner Viv Rickard confirmed today that the ‘officers’ on stage with singer Tiki Taane last night at the New Zealand Music Awards were in fact dancers and not Police.

“Mr Taane approached us a while ago and asked if some of our officers could appear on stage with him during his performance of ‘Freedom to sing’. While we were pleased to be asked, we are not able to facilitate those kinds of requests. However, we did approve the use of four uniforms for Mr Taane’s dancers to wear during the performance last night.

“Congratulations to him for his awards, it is good to see him doing well.”

Mr Rickard said Police and Mr Taane had come to an agreement a month ago after a performance by Mr Taane resulted in him being arrested for disorderly behaviour.

“We worked through the matter and Mr Taane has now volunteered to be a family violence spokesperson in one of our districts and it is fantastic to have someone of his profile and youth to be able to connect to our communities about such a serious and important issue.”


NB : It is an offence to personate a police officer. However, Police do need to be able to provide uniforms at times for filming or theatrical purposes. These requests are carefully considered on a case by case basis." 

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