Supermarket chain Pak'n Save has apologised for breaching procedures by body searching a 79-year-old woman suspected of shoplifting rather than calling police.
Te Miringa Parangi and her two grandchildren were accused of stealing at Sylvia Park Pak'n Save in Auckland about a month ago, after a customer alerted store security.
Ms Parangi says she and her grandchildren were detained for two hours and searched by a staff member, who found nothing.
She says her son later told her a police officer should have been called to do the search. Ms Parangi questioned whether she was pulled up because she was Maori.
Pak'n Save general manager of retail Murray Jordan admits the company did not follow procedures and has apologised for the distress the incident caused.
However he says Ms Parangi was not targetted because she was Maori, but was spoken to because a customer had alerted store security.