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


Armed police patrols will cause American-style shootings

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The group says the plan ignores the fact that violence against police is at a historical low, and that the rates of police violence against Māori have been worsening for years.

"Mike Bush is pushing a plan to drastically escalate police access to force without any public oversight. This plan does not reflect any need for increased police safety measures," says Emilie Rākete, spokesperson for People Against Prisons Aotearoa. "Data released to us under the Official Information Act show that firearms are involved in less than one percent of alleged assaults on police. This rate has been in decline from as far back as the police have recorded. It has never been safer to be a police officer in this country, this plan to leave almost 300 armed cops roaming our neighborhoods will not make anybody safer."

People Against Prisons Aotearoa are also concerned about the implications of increased police use of firearms for cases where force is used by the police.

"Police have shot and killed more New Zealanders in the last 20 years than they did in the 80 years before that. Māori are currently eight times more likely to be the victims of police violence than Pākehā. Most concerningly, the racial disproportionality of police violence is actually getting worse. Every year, Māori become more and more likely to be subjected to police brutality," says Rākete. "The Police Commissioner's plan to put more guns in poor and Māori neighbourhoods will lead to even more Māori being killed at the hands of police.”

“We know what happens when frontline officers have guns in their hands. We have seen the consequences of a militarized police force in the USA. In a high risk situation, all it takes is a phone or a wallet in a brown hand and our police will shoot to kill. New Zealanders don’t want our policing to follow the lead of failed approaches overseas. This plan is irresponsible, unnecessary, and will lead to racist violence."

People Against Prisons Aotearoa is concerned about the use of the Christchurch attacks as political justification for a long-standing and unrelated policing agenda.

“Commissioner Bush is making a gross misrepresentation of the facts when he claims that the police’s “operating environment has changed” because of white supremacist terror. He seems to have forgotten that on the first of March this year, Superintendent John Price issued instructions for the general arming of Canterbury police officers. The general arming of police officers prior to March 15 had nothing to do with the white supremacist terror attacks, and it certainly didn’t prevent them.”

“When you have people tasked with patrolling poor neighbourhoods with guns, they’re going to find a justification for themselves. Treating the neighborhoods of the socially deprived like a warzone is entirely counter-productive to having safe communities. If Mike Bush is truly concerned about violence on our streets, he should start with the overwhelming rate of police violence against unarmed Māori.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa

Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>


National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>


Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels