Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Stun guns set to be triggered in September

21 May 2006

Stun guns set to be triggered in September

Citizens of Auckland, Wellington, Counties Manakau and the North Shore-Waitakere-Rodney area have been chosen as test subjects for trials starting in September of potentially lethal stun guns, Green Party Police Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

"Residents of those regions should be concerned that their night out on the town could see them ending up on the wrong end of a 50,000 volt electrical charge from a taser stun gun, as the police try to find out if these weapons can be used safely.

"The overseas evidence, including a report by Amnesty International, is that there are serious inherent risks involved in taser use, and over 150 deaths have been wholly or partly attributed to them.

"The Police, I am informed by responses to written questions posed to Police Minister Annette King, have done no independent research into the safety risks that tasers pose, before they have sought to try them out on ordinary citizens. The trial context therefore puts pressure on the police to use these dangerous weapons to gather data for analysis," Mr Locke says.

"I am also worried, following the recent scandal over the misuse of pepper spray, that the taser will be used on the full range of 'violent offenders' although the Minister informs me that those carrying a weapon (other than a firearm) will be a particular target.

"Given that the Police have not demonstrated they can adhere to pepper spray guidelines, I am concerned when the Minister tells me that 'front line response staff' will be authorised to use tasers. This weapon won't be restricted to the more highly trained violent offenders squad.

"The cost of the entire 12 month trial, which includes special medical training for police to cope with the possible medical emergencies associated with taser use, will be only $143,000. This figure seems remarkably low, and raises the possibility that the weapons are being supplied below cost by the US manufacturers, with an eye to further sales and more widespread police use."

"In the US, tasers may well be a less violent option in a society where violent offenders, routinely, tend to be shot. In New Zealand, the taser trial should be cancelled, and the police required to justify their plans for such a serious escalation in their operational arsenal."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news