19 Oct 2016

Alleged kidnapping: Teen's grandfather backs Hurimoana Dennis

8:31 pm on 19 October 2016

The family at the centre of an alleged kidnapping involving a teenager and senior policeman Hurimoana Dennis have spoken for the first time about what happened.

Hurimoana Dennis

Hurimoana Dennis - pictured outside Te Puea Marae Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Mr Dennis, who is also chairman of Te Puea Marae, has been stood down from his role as a police inspector since last September, pending a police investigation.

The 17-year-old laid a complaint with police, accusing Mr Dennis of carrying out a "mock arrest" when he put him in a cell at the Auckland Central Police Station.

Mr Dennis was trying to stop the teenager's sexual relationship with an under-age girl. The boy then agreed to move to Sydney, but has since returned home.

Mr Dennis' lawyer said earlier this week that his client maintained he was acting in the boy's best interests.

The teenager's grandfather said he reached out to Mr Dennis in desperation, fearing his grandson could end up in prison if the relationship continued.

He told RNZ that everything Mr Dennis did was with the family's consent.

"I rang Huri and I said 'Huri, I've got this problem, can you give me a hand out', and so he did.

"We wanted to break up the relationship and bring our mokopuna back home."

He said the whole family supported Mr Dennis "to the hilt", and he did not believe what Mr Dennis had done was kidnapping.

"Everything he did, he did not do on his own, he did with our knowledge and he did with our acceptance and our approval. So if anybody is guilty, we are as guilty as Huri."

The boy and the family of the girl he was in the relationship with had not yet responded to requests for comment.

The girl's family was previously reported as saying they wanted the truth to come out.

In a statement, the police said their investigation was nearing completion but was still ongoing and they were unable to comment further.

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