Andrew Coster apologises to Prime Minister over comms breakdown that led to Chris Hipkins dismissing crime story

Newshub can reveal Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has apologised over a communication breakdown with the Prime Minister over an incident involving road workers having a gun drawn at them in Hawke's Bay.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins initially dismissed those stories of roadworkers having guns pointed at them as third-hand accounts on the advice of the police, undermining and invalidating the roadworkers' terrifying experience. 

Newshub's been told it wasn't Coster who directly fed information to the Prime Minister and instead it was at an office-to-office level.

But even if not directly, it all comes back to Coster.

He is the top cop and therefore takes responsibility for everything police do, including misleading the Prime Minister and therefore misleading the public. 

On Wednesday morning, the Eastern District's top police officer confirmed to Ryan Bridge on AM her officers took first-hand accounts of the incident and that fact was passed on to Police National Headquarters - Coster's lot.

Coster and the Prime Minister have both been incredibly defensive on the crime issue and this particular incident has left them looking like wallies because their intel was incorrect. 

But to be fair, this was all taking place in a live emergency situation with limited communications.

Newshub has just learnt that Coster has now owned the mistake made by his team and apologised to the Prime Minister.