A police officer has been exonerated for using force to defend himself after a bystander intervened as he was trying to arrest another man.
The incident happened in the central North Island in January.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority said the officer believed he was about to be assaulted, so he punched the bystander in the face.
After the man he was trying to arrest went into a house, the officer peppered sprayed him through a window and then forced open the front door.
After entering the house he found the man had escaped through a back window. He was later found and arrested.
The Authority said it is satisfied he was justified in using the force in self-defence, and that the force was reasonable in the circumstances.
It also found that the officer’s entry into the house was lawful.
A police investigation found the officer’s actions were justified, but his decision to enter the house on his own under the circumstances was not tactically prudent, as it was a risk to his safety.