Police are investigating after video emerged of a New Plymouth officer appearing to grab a handcuffed man by the neck and throw him to the ground.
Witnesses claim the man has a hearing problem, and was arrested because he tried to put his alcohol bottles in the bin when he was told to throw them in the car.
"Daniel cracked a beer and had a few sips when we realised the police walking up the street towards us," says his friend who posted the video to Facebook.
"They then asked Daniel to tip out his beer and throw the two empty bottles into the car -- he didn't hear them say these words so he proceeded to walk to the bin."
Daniel was then cuffed and told he was going to the cells.
A video of the incident appears to show Daniel being grabbed by the neck before being thrown to the ground, where his hearing aids are dislodged.
He was reportedly given a warning for drinking in a liquor ban area.
National Foundation for the Deaf CEO Louise Carroll says the identification of deaf and hard of hearing people by Police and Corrections is a major concern.
"There is a big problem is New Zealand," she says. "Police, Justice, and Corrections need to be doing something about this issue."
She says that police used to have a programme on how to deal with hard of hearing people -- but this appears to have lapsed several years ago.
"There needs to be appropriate training otherwise this will continue," she says.
Police say they are currently investigating the incident to establish whether the use of force was appropriate, and what the actual events were that lead to the arrest.
Watch the video.