Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Taser Tease a Sick Joke says Harawira

Taser Tease a Sick Joke says Harawira

Hone Harawira, MP for Te Tai Tokerau

Thursday 28 August 2008

The Police Commissioner’s overnight decision to introduce tasers amounts to nothing more than taunting MPs with the possibility that consultation on the latest weapon in the police arsenal would actually mean something says Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.

“Two years ago I registered a Notice of Complaint with the Human Rights Commission and our Party President, Whatarangi Winiata and I have been involved in a mediation with the Police over the taser gun trial” explained Harawira.

“The Maori Party does not believe that a heavily armed police force is an effective strategy to inspire public confidence in the police or to protect public safety”.

“We must be bold and intelligent enough to create strategies to achieve safety – other than just upping the ante, creating a designer Robocop and running the risk that civilians will get caught in the shoot-out” said Harawira.

“We believe that policing in Aotearoa would be safer for the public and the police alike, if defusing problem situations was a key policing skill, and a priority in the ongoing training of frontline officers”.

“The Commissioner’s rebuke that he saw no need to change his mind because “nothing new emerged from the debate in Parliament” is highly offensive” said Mr Harawira.

“Sure – inadequate consultation may not be new; lack of Ministerial leadership and accountability for policy directions may not be new; disproportionate targeting of Maori and Pasifika communities may not be new – but it doesn’t make it right either”.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“The Maori Party believes that the ministerial statement on the deployment of tasers stun-guns was nothing less than a desperate plea by the Commissioner for his Minister to step forward and take responsibility. Instead she passed the buck”.

“Instead, it appears Sherriff O’Connor has won the day”.

The attitude expressed by Mr O'Connor on behalf of police officers seemed to be one of incredulity that the public and their representatives in Parliament should even be involved in decisions about what force the police should be allowed to use” said Harawira.

“All that today’s announcement suggests is that the cops are a law unto themselves – and I guess for some New Zealanders they’ll be saying, ‘and what’s new about that?”.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Flaws In Anti-gang Laws

Google “Christopher Luxon“ and “mojo” and you get nearly 60,000 matching responses. Over the past 18 months – here and here and again, here – Luxon has claimed that New Zealanders have either lost their mojo and/or are in the process of re-finding it. With mojo in hand, New Zealanders will once more become a nation of over-achievers, blessed with the feisty Kiwi can-do spirit of yore.

But here’s the thing. According to Luxon, we’re naturally bold, inventive and self-reliant. Yet according to him, we’re also “wet, whiny and inward-looking”...


Government: GPS 2024: Over $20 Billion To Get Transport Back On Track
Transport Minister Simeon Brown has released the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, outlining the Coalition Government’s plan to build and maintain a transport system that enables people to get to where they need to go quickly and safely... More


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.