Well-known kiwis say NO to Tasers
The first comments are beginning to come in from well-known kiwis approached for their views on the police decision to introduce the taser stun gun into policing in New Zealand.
Campaign Against The Taser.Com is today releasing the first of these comments. These are attached with this release and more will be released later in the campaign.
“These comments reflect the depth of feeling across much of the New Zealand community against the government decision to approve their introduction into New Zealand policing,” says Campaign Against the Taser.com spokesperson, Auckland barrister Marie Dyhrberg.
Several comments reflect the need for the police to rebuild community confidence after a series of high profile criminal cases involving senior officers.
“The best weapon the New Zealand Police Force has is public support and cooperation. Tasers alienate most of middle Aoteaaroa – NZ – kia te rakimarie, keia te manawanui – KAO TE ‘TASER”. Keri Hulme (Writer)
“The police need to regain the respect they used to enjoy in our society. Tasers will not improve the situation, they are more likely to exacerbate it”. Brian Turner (Poet)
Artists Nigel Brown and Michael Smither have focused on the use of tasers around the world as torture devices.
“To agree to the use of Tasers is to agree to the use of torture as police policy in NZ”. Michael Smither (Artist)
“The gradual dispersal of a torture device throughout our police force in the name of efficiency is degrading to all New Zealanders”. Nigel Brown (Artist)
The vulnerability of Maori to the taser has been pointed to by another artist.
“Maori will be the major victims of this weapon. Even so more for young Maori Men! Fact!” Mika (Artist)
“We are delighted with the support from these well-known kiwis and we hope the government will begin to listen to the concerns within the community which are expressed through these comments.”
Further comments are attached.
“The government has so far refused to even meet with a Campaign Against the Taser.Com delegation,” says Ms Dyhrberg. “It would prefer to shut down discussion about this critical change in policing practice. However we are determined to fight the introduction of tasers.”
We have not received a single negative comment so far from the wide range of New Zealanders approach as part of building support for the campaign.
A protest march has been planned for Saturday 19th August from the bottom of Queen Street, Auckland.
For more details of the campaign go to http://www.campaignagainstthetaser.com
Keri Hulme Okarito Writer - The best weapon the New Zealand Police Force has is public support and cooperation. Tasers alienate most of middle Aoteaaroa – NZ – kia te rakimarie, keia te manawanui – KAO TE ‘TASER”.
Sue Kedgley Wellington Green MP - This is a dangerous technology which has no place in a tolerant, democratic society.
Brian Turner Otago Writer - The police need to regain the respect they used to enjoy in our society. Tasers will not improve the situation, they are more likely to exacerbate it.
Michael Smither Whitianga Artist - To agree to the use of Tasers is to agree to the use of torture as police policy in NZ.
John Minto Auckland Veteran Activist - The police need training in tact and diplomacy – not tasers. To protect both police and the community we need to be reducing violence in policing, not increasing it!
Mika Auckalnd Artist - Maori will be the major victims of this weapon. Even so more for young Maori Men! Fact!
Craig Potton Nelson Photographer and Publisher - I am deeply concerned the taser, if introduced will be over-used on humans and animals. It is cruel.
Nigel Brown Southland Painter - The gradual dispersal of a torture device throughout our police force in the name of efficiency is degrading to all New Zealanders.
Gary Gotlieb Auckland Criminal Barrister and President of the Auckland District Law Society - Putting aside the obvious dangers from taser use, I am concerned that the Police cannot even control the use of pepper spray which is used indiscriminately and does not follow the police guidelines. A more lethal device in the hands of the police must be of real concern.
Bomber Auckland Political Commentator and Broadcaster - I believe that cut back after cut back has led us to a Police force of thugs who increasingly, due to their poor training, need to rely on force through weaponry rather than their ability to calm a situation down. We have proof that the Police abuse pepper spray, by miss-using it on handcuffed prisoners as an effective torture technique while Police stamp their alpha male insecurities all over any situation. And into this unstable cocktail of abused power, the Police wish to add Tasers as their new weapon of choice, yet we as the people of NZ still will not have an independent Police complaints authority to protect us from the Police when they miss-use their new toys.