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Bill to criminalise the possession of hand-held lasers

Dr Cam Calder MP
National List MP

Media Statement
15 November 2012
Bill to criminalise the possession of hand-held lasers selected

National List MP Dr Cam Calder has welcomed the upcoming debate on his Member’s Bill, which was drawn from the ballot today.

“The Summary Offences (Possession of Hand-held Lasers) Amendment Bill will make possession of a hand-held laser in a public place without reasonable excuse an offence,” Dr Calder said.

“Hand-held laser pointers have the potential to cause considerable harm, and put lives at risk when improperly used. This Bill will bring greater accountability, and offer Police an additional tool to deal with this reckless behaviour.”

“Last year alone, the Civil Aviation Authority received about 100 reports of laser beams being shone into the cockpits of aircrafts. The consequences of an accident caused by laser misuse could be catastrophic.”

In preparation for this Bill, Dr Calder consulted the Civil Aviation Authority and Airline Pilots Association, which both agreed preventative measures need to be put in place to reduce the chances of laser misuse occurring.

“I recently welcomed the release of a Ministry of Health consultation document on the ways to regulate high-powered laser pointers. I have also had several discussions with Associate Minister of Health, Jo Goodhew, regarding potential ways to control their use.

“My Bill is about prevention, and filling a legislative gap which currently exists in New Zealand.

“Laser pointers are not toys, and it is important that all of us realise the huge harm that the misuse of these devices can cause,” Dr Calder said.

ENDS

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