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

 

Public Meeting to Launch Opposition to Taser Trial

Campaign Against the Taser (CATT)

1 June 2006

Media Release:

Public Meeting to Launch Opposition to Police Taser Trial

A public meeting has been organized to voice strong community opposition to the New Zealand Police proposal to trial the Taser “stun gun”.

The meeting is being held at the Columba Centre, Vermont Street, Ponsonby at 7.30pm on Tuesday, June 6th. Media representatives are welcome to attend and report on the meeting. A media pack will be available and this will include a DVD with dramatic, deeply-disturbing footage of tasers being used in police operations in North America.

The Taser “stun gun” fires barbs which penetrate the skin and then administer a single or pro-longed electric shock at 50,000volts. It can only be described as a weapon that is dangerous and has been responsible for causing or resulting in deaths in other countries. Many New Zealanders have grave concerns about this proposed trial of the Taser which is due to start in September this year in our main cities.

The Campaign against the Taser (CATT) is honoured to have Sir Paul Reeves act as Chair at this first public meeting. Other speakers at the meeting will include John Minto, [highly regarded human rights and civil liberties activist], Dr Murray Hing, [experienced medical practitioner] and Dr Rodney Harrison, [human rights and constitutional legal expert].

The issue of the introduction of Tasers for use by the New Zealand Police is important for a number of reasons. One is the complete absence of an independent, impartial and thorough enquiry by scientific, legal and law enforcement specialists as to the use and effects of the introduction of Tasers into New Zealand policing. The second is the absence of strict rules, safeguards and monitoring procedures to prevent misuse of this electric-shock equipment.

The police proposal appears to rely on information provided by the Taser Corporation itself whereas independent research shows that Tasers are not safe and amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and torture. Further most people who have died in custody were unarmed and not posing a serious threat to police officers, members of the public, or themselves and those who died were generally subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks.

The police are not introducing Tasers as a substitute for using lethal force through the use of guns and their use will be interchangeable with pepper spraying. The New Zealand public has recently witnessed the abuse and lack of restraint by police officers associated with the use of the pepper spray. Overseas studies show that the Taser’s primary use is not on hardened and armed criminals but on the mentally or physically disabled, the emotionally disturbed, people in vulnerable positions under the influence of drugs or alcohol or prisoners in custody or resisting arrest. Although they were often highly agitated and stressed, they did not pose a threat of serious injury to themselves or others when they were “tasered”.

The compelling conclusion reached from the research is that the New Zealand Police should not start a trial of the use of Tasers unless and until the above concerns have been met and appropriate experts have independently assessed the safety of and need for Taser use. It is essential that the New Zealand Public is fully informed and then decides whether the arming of the Police force with this potentially lethal weapon is what is both necessary and desirable for New Zealand society.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election