An officer was justified in kicking a man in the head lying face down with his hands behind his head while being arrested, the police watchdog says.
The man was wanted for aggravated robbery involving a firearm in mid November 2019.
About a fortnight after the robbery the man was spotted but fled police and holed up at an Auckland address claiming to have guns, a bullet proof vest, and a hostage he would not release until his demand for a car was met.
After a standoff involving the Armed Offenders Squad and an Armed Response Team he gave himself up.
He was lying prone when an officer kicked him in the shoulder and head to dislodge something in the man's hand.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority said while the officer should have submitted a report about the use of force, it was justified and proportionate given the risk the man posed.
"It was the only viable tactical option open to the officer to remove the object in the man's hand and to restrain him so he could be handcuffed," authority chair Judge Colin Doherty said.
"In the fast unfolding process of the arrest and based on what the man had said to police, it was reasonable for the officer to have thought the man was holding a firearm.
"We accept that the officer did not intend to connect with the man's head when he kicked him a second time and inadvertently did so as he attempted to kick him in the shoulder."
Police said the officer did the right thing in a dangerous situation.