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


Campaign Against The Taser Stun Gun launched

12 May 2006

Campaign Against The Taser Stun Gun launched

Concerned community groups and individuals have banded together to oppose Police plans to introduce the American-made Taser stun gun into New Zealand policing operations. In February, a Police press release announced plans to introduce Tasers, initially for use in five major Police districts including Auckland and Wellington.

“Campaign Against The Taser (CATT) has been formed to oppose these moves,” CATT spokesperson Marie Dyhrberg said today.

In overseas jurisdictions where the Taser gun has been introduced, there has been mounting concern and controversy over its use. In America alone, there have been over 150 deaths in which the use or abuse of the Taser by police and other law enforcement officials has been implicated.

“In New Zealand, where the Police do not routinely carry firearms, there is no possible justification for the Taser’s introduction”, Marie Dyhrberg said.

“The New Zealand public does not support routine arming of the Police. It has made that clear over a long period of time. Certainly, before we even begin to contemplate introducing a dangerous weapon like the Taser in this country, there should be a full independent inquiry and a robust public debate. The Police should not be allowed to get away with introducing, by press release, fundamental changes to the way policing is conducted here.”

“The Taser looks like a gun, it fires a projectile (barbed darts) like a gun, it fells people like a gun and (overseas experience shows) can actually kill people, just like a gun”, said Ms Dyhrberg

Campaign Against The Taser supporters include the Human Rights Foundation of Aotearoa New Zealand, Global Peace and Justice Auckland, the Peace Foundation and Auckland University Law School’s Equal Justice Project.
CATT will be holding a public meeting in Auckland on Tuesday 6 June. The meeting will be addressed by experts on the legal, medical and human rights implications of Taser guns.

Marie Dyhrberg says that, with major concerns currently being voiced about the use and abuse by Police of pepper spray, it is critical that all of the implications of the proposed introduction by the Police of Taser guns in this country be thoroughly scrutinised.

“Pepper spray, an incapacitating weapon which the Police already have, is now being misused by individual Police officers, in ways never anticipated by New Zealanders when it was introduced.”

“Particularly given the experience with pepper spray, what is needed before entrusting still further dangerous weapons to our Police is an independent public inquiry. This should examine all aspects of the claimed need, potential risks of, and overall justification for introducing the Taser as part of general policing in this country”, Ms Dyhrberg said.

“The Police have not remotely established a sufficient justification for their move to introduce the Taser. All current proposals should be halted until they have been independently inquired into and fully justified, both to the New Zealand public and also to Parliament, which bears the ultimate responsibility for the welfare and safety of all New Zealanders. Furthermore, any move to arm the Police cannot occur without the introduction of appropriate legal authority and safeguards.”

CATT has written to the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of Police. The letters set out CATT concerns about the introduction of the Taser gun, and seek access to any information considered by the Commissioner and the Minister before the decision was made to introduce the Taser, as well as trial protocols and proposed operating and training procedures.


© 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