A police investigation is causing friction between the Opotiki community and police in the Bay of Plenty.
Officers have launched a probe into allegations of a sexual nature involving students at Opotiki College.
They date back to last year and are understood to involve boys aged over 17 and girls aged 13 and 14.
Police say there is no indication the offending happened at the school or involved teachers.
Opotiki Mayor John Forbes is upset he wasn't given a heads-up.
"If they want to have a good relationship with community, then I think they'll get a lot out of having positive relationships," he told RadioLIVE.
"They owe it to community leaders to talk to them about issues that are going on, also give them some background or some briefing."
Mr Forbes only learned of the investigation second-hand, and says it's overshadowing all the good that happens in his community.
"If the police can't acknowledge the relationship between themselves and communities in a way that involves community leadership – like Mayors – they've got some issues that they need to sort out."
Ministry of Education support specialists have descended on the school, and are working with police to support the school's staff and minimise disruption for students.