Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Police Taken to Court Over Protest Pepper Spraying

Pepper Spray to Stay in Public Eye

Mr Oosterman receives attention post pepper spraying


Press Release: Global Peace and Justice Auckland
Tuesday, 9 May 2006

Police Taken to Court Over First Protest Pepper Spraying

A court proceeding will be filed against the Police today at 3pm at the Auckland District Court over another pepper spray incident in response to the lack of a general inquiry into its misuse.

Global Peace and Justice Auckland believes that this pepper spraying was the first time it has been used during a protest situation and that it set a dangerous precedent for future protests.

Simon Oosterman, union campaigner, represented by Graeme Minchin of the Auckland Council of Civil Liberties, is seeking costs of $50,000 for assault and breaches of his rights for being pepper sprayed during an unlawful arrest at a protest in Rotorua early last year.

In a court decision, Judge Weirs dismissed charges against Oosterman but said that he had “real concern” for the use of pepper spray and had forwarded a copy of his decision to the Police Commissioner. Oosterman says that he is yet to receive a response or an apology from the Police and that there has not been an investigation into the event.

Mr Oosterman said that he believed Police were investigating last weekend’s West Auckland pepper spray incident because the media had filmed it, which had put the issue of pepper spray into the public eye. “It’s not surprising that after a year of bad press for the police that their association president Greg O’Conners is trying to stall a wider investigation into the misuse of pepper spray by treating this particular breach of police procedure as an isolated incident,” he said.

In Oosterman’s court decision, Judge Weir said that “the exercise of tact, tolerance and restraint, and use of powers reasonably and properly, appear to have been more observed in their breach than their compliance. The use of OC [pepper] spray, in particular, raises more questions than it answers… on the face of it, the use of OC spray in this context causes real concern…” [1]

The judgement referred to a Court of Appeal case in 2003 that highlighted the need for a review of the circumstances and frequency of pepper spray use.

Mr Oosterman said that the public has a right to an independent investigation into the general use of pepper spray in New Zealand before trials of the Taser stun gun start later this year. “Police have proven themselves too irresponsible with their use of pepper spray and should not be given a more deadly weapon like the Taser. The 50,000 volt Taser stun gun has killed people overseas even when used following correct police procedures and should not be introduced into New Zealand.”

Mr Oosterman said that any awarded costs would be put towards a public campaign to stop the introduction of the Taser and to help those seeking court reparation for wrongful pepper spraying who can not afford legal costs.


[1] Section 50, Oosterman vs Police.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election