It's been revealed 14 of the Armed Offenders Squad officers who attended a 12-hour hostage siege in Taranaki last year had been drinking.
Anthony Ratahi was shot dead by police after taking his former girlfriend hostage at the Headlands Hotel in Opunake last July.
A police investigation has found the officers had consumed alcohol at some point in the previous 24 hours but the officer who fired the fatal shot hadn't.
Police say a rule about alcohol consumption and firearms use was ambiguous when it came to AOS staff who weren't on standby and were being re-called for duty in an emergency.
Operations Assistant Commissioner Nick Perry says that's now been cleared up.
He says any AOS officers must not consume alcohol within 12 hours of commencing rostered duty and must not consume alcohol on duty.
Mr Perry says there was provision for police officers in exceptional circumstances to have access to firearms. For example, an officer in a remote station could get permission to use firearms if they've a few drinks with dinner and get called out.
"It wasn't supposed to relate to Armed Offender squad matters but that was never, ever made clear, so that's an issue that we have clarified now.
"Some of our members misinterpreted that particular regulation on the belief that it included Armed Offenders squad members, but it was never ever intended to relate to those officers."
Photo: The Armed Offenders Squad in action (Getty Images)