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Arming the police

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, July 27th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: police - Tags: ,

This is the second post in what, depressingly, may become a series of posts about arming the police. Regular as clockwork the suggestion keeps coming back, here’s the latest version:

Call for ‘guns on hips’ renewed after rifle aimed at cop

The Police Association has renewed its calls for “guns on hips” after a rifle was allegedly aimed at a female officer in the Bay of Plenty early yesterday morning. … The officer left immediately and called for back up, before armed offenders squad members were deployed in the area. …

Police Association president Greg O’Connor said the incident – which came just a month after a police officer was shot in Mayoral Drive – highlighted dangers faced by police.

“We are just lucky on this occasion that her leaving was an option, but with nine colleagues shot in the last three years, that hasn’t always been an option.”

Mr O’Connor acknowledged police access to firearms had been improved with the roll-out of secure compartments containing tasers and firearms in 908 front-line patrol cars, but believed it would take a tragedy before the Government allowed police officers to carry firearms.

“We believe every police officer will end up with a firearm on their hip – but it will take either a number of unarmed police officers to be shot, or a member of the public to be shot because the police couldn’t take action – before it happens.”

I think that the majority of the country would remain opposed to the idea of routinely armed police. Personally, my objections are the same as the first time I wrote about this, so I’m just going to repeat myself.  I’m opposed for four reasons.

First objection – It won’t make the police any safer. Anyone mad enough to shoot at a cop (or anyone else for that matter) is not going to be deterred if the cop is armed.  Carrying a gun doesn’t stop you from being shot at, it doesn’t make you any less likely to get hit (better protective gear does that).  In the high profile case in 2010, the officer involved,  Senior Constable Bruce Lamb made the same point:

The police dog handler shot in the jaw in Christchurch yesterday is deeply upset about the loss of his dog Gage, but does not think it would have made a difference if he had been armed at the time of the incident. … Mr Lamb had access to a firearm in his police truck, but chose not to pick it up when he went into the house.

Second objection – It will make the public less safe. More guns means more bullets means more people getting hit. It’s not rocket science. From a 2010 piece on making guns more accessible to police:

The Police Association welcomed the move, but gave warning that it would ultimately mean more people getting shot.

Credit for acknowledging the truth, but then:

Greg O’Connor, the association’s president, said: “If these officers had shot someone [yesterday] there would be a massive outcry in the media about why did the police need to shoot them and that’s where we just need to grow up as a country.” New Zealanders needed to stop “getting squeamish” about firearms and “get squeamish” about officers getting shot, he said.

I find the causal attitude to increased civilian deaths horrifying. I will remain “squeamish” about people getting shot, and I refuse to “grow up” about it. If I thought that carrying guns was going to make police safer there might be a debate to be had here, but see above.

Third objection – The argument that there has been a recent upsurge in police shootings that justifies this escalation is rubbish.

Fourth objection – Escalation is a bad idea. If guns become more visible and are used more frequently, then of course the serious criminal element will respond in kind. No one ends up any safer, the general public are considerably more at risk, and New Zealand has lost another stubborn vestige of its innocence, never to be regained. How safe are the heavily armed police in America?

49 comments on “Arming the police”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    O’Connor’s Tory mates must need a fresh diversion today.

  2. weka 2

    How far away is O’Connor from retirement?

  3. Tom 3

    R0bins may be right, but having lived in a country where police officers routinely carried revolvers it seemed to me that they did not suffer the same amount of aggravation NZ police officers do. You just don’t mess with someone carrying a gun.

    Given current trends, it may be only a matter of time – and tragedy – before it happens here.

    • McFlock 3.1

      You’re also less likely to be comfortable around them, exchange smalltalk, give them information, ask their advice on situations that might be getting out of hand, etc.
         
      Firearms distance people, as a byproduct of the induced trepidation you described. 

      • Tom 3.1.1

        That was not my observation. It is the person and situation you react to, not his or her ‘appointments’ – weapons on their working belt if in uniform.

  4. McFlock 4

    So the police have almost a thousand guns on the street already, and it’s still not enough. Why don’t they just coax mount cannon on the PTZ traffic cameras in many streets today? That way they could safely intercede in many events without leaving the safety of their control room. /sarc

    • Tom 4.1

      Nice, but save your sarcasm for the armed offenders squad.

      The reality is that NZ Police already deploy firearms – not as part of their uniform, but generally secured in a vehicle nearby.

      I much prefer a culture which does not glamourise guns, but as people get desperate during tough times anything is possible.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    “We believe every police officer will end up with a firearm on their hip – but it will take either a number of unarmed police officers to be shot, or a member of the public to be shot because the police couldn’t take action – before it happens.”

    Wow, giving the police guns will make them clairvoyant and thus be able to be in place to be able to stop a crime from happening.

    /sarc

    The real tragedy will be if our police start carrying guns all the time as that will show that we’ve failed as a society.

    • prism 5.1

      DTB 5

      “We believe every police officer will end up with a firearm on their hip – but it will take either a number of unarmed police officers to be shot, or a member of the public to be shot because the police couldn’t take action – before it happens.”

      What about the murdered teenager that police ‘accidentally’ shot? His mother misses him. Badly. He was a real person not a statistic. This is the police making life more dangerous for the public. They shouldn’t have any more guns.

      Try reducing numbers of the ones already out there. Pay money for them to be handed in and destroyed. Have better border controls than biosecurity? Guns as a back-up, flak jackets and working in pairs for all police. In theory they are good people doing a difficult job. But let’s decriminalise marijuana. Have a joint officer, thanks I will as I’m not driving. May happen. Pigs can fly. That’s enigmatic – and you will put your own construction on it. I’m not thinking of police here..

    • Vicky32 5.2

      The real tragedy will be if our police start carrying guns all the time as that will show that we’ve failed as a society.

      Exactly right!

  6. higherstandard 6

    I don’t believe there is any pressing need to have all police carrying visible weapons.

    I do believe there should be harsher penalties for assaults on police, evading police pursuit and that the police should have powers to issue instant fines and demerits to the tiresome jerks that are drunk or just plane disorderly.

    • McFlock 6.1

      And more police. 

      • higherstandard 6.1.1

        Certainly more at the coalface and visible around town.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          And more administrative support for sworn officers so the sworn officers can actually spend time on the front line.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            But…but…that would mean back office staff and everyone knows back office staff don’t actually do anything…

            /sarc

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Nothing that can’t be done (badly) by a contracted company owned by a national party supporter. 
                   
              Sigh – it’s funny coz it’s true :cry: 

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      harsher penalties for assaults on police

      Why? Assault is assault, it really shouldn’t make a difference if the person assaulted is wearing a uniform or not.

      evading police pursuit and that the police should have powers to issue instant fines and demerits to the tiresome jerks that are drunk or just plane disorderly.

      I’m sure you’ll find that they already do.

      • Lanthanide 6.2.1

        “Why? Assault is assault, it really shouldn’t make a difference if the person assaulted is wearing a uniform or not.”

        Yeah, I prefer this approach too. Placing the police (or anyone) on a special pedestal makes it go to their head and they start abusing their position.

        • mac1 6.2.1.1

          If deterrence works, even for some, then assaulting a police officer as a more serious form of assault should be considered as we do ask our police to put themselves in situations where assault is more likely than for you or I. That’s not putting them on a pedestal- just recognition of their role in putting themselves at risk for their community. I suspect also that any policeman who abuses his position is not doing that from a sense of permission given by knowing that assault charges will cost the offender more dearly. Who, for heaven’s sake, wants to be assaulted?

          Or shot at. Does carrying a gun give permission to the criminals to also carry arms? I don’t know, just as much as I don’t know the weight that deterrence carries either by gun carrying officers or the fear of punishment in court for assault. Given that much crime is alcohol fueled, probably not much.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.1

            If deterrence worked, there wouldn’t be any crime.

            • diddle 6.2.1.1.1.1

              If your brain worked you’d think twice before typing.

              • fender

                Hey diddle diddle thats not how to spell dribble.

                I’m with mac1 on the merit of having a harsher penalty for those who think they can seriously assault police. If someone gets convicted a second time for serious assault on an officer I believe they are displaying behaviour that warrants a harsher penalty. They are effectivly saying they have no regard for officers and will use violence against them if they see fit.

                As for all police carrying guns at all times, all I can see are more bullets flying around as it seemed to be the best option at the time and the innocent member of the public who got hit by a stray bullet just wasn’t seen in the heat of the moment.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If someone gets convicted a second time for serious assault on an officer I believe they are displaying behaviour that warrants a harsher penalty. They are effectivly saying they have no regard for officers and will use violence against them if they see fit.

                  What about tougher penalties for officers who smack up lawful protestors?

                  Where are the checks and balances.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Are there actually any penalties for cops who bash lawful protestors? I don’t recall many ever being convicted.

                  • KJT

                    I think the charge of assaulting a police officer should carry a greater penalty, But! As upholders of the law there should be worse penalties for police officers who break the law. It is reasonable to expect those charged with enforcing the law to follow it.

                    Police should not be able to make up evidence, withhold favourable evidence, lay extra charges for crimes not committed, unlawfully breach privacy and obstruct and assault legal protesters with impunity.
                    Like the Magistrate who got away with the hit and run they are supposed to know the law and therefore have more responsibility in that regard than an ordinary Jo Blow.

                    In contrast I have recently seen police who paralysed a teenager for life get away scott free and another teenager charged because they were in the car (terrified I my add) with a boy racer. He ended up punished more than the driver was. He lost his job because he was arrested.

                  • fender

                    “What about tougher penalties for officers who smack up lawful protestors?”

                    Sure I’m all for that most definitely, too often police seem to regard protesters as crash test dummies they can practice their latest moves on.

                    Police who break the law by abusing their powers should be kicked from the force and recieve the maximum possible sentence for their crime, they should know better after all.

                    As for checks and balances it’s conceivable that officers could have recording equipment that can be used to collect data, small discreet video incorporated into their vests perhaps. Would be useful as evidence in court too.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      As for checks and balances it’s conceivable that officers could have recording equipment that can be used to collect data, small discreet video incorporated into their vests perhaps.

                      Thought about that and you’d have to have it uploading in real time to an independent office. If you didn’t there would be the possibility of the information going missing.

                      Still a good idea though. Just a little more complicated than most realise.

                  • Vicky32

                    What about tougher penalties for officers who smack up lawful protestors?

                    Seconded!

      • prism 6.2.2

        DTB 6.2
        It should be worse to assault a police officer, you are so wrong when you say there is no difference. First they want to limit the likelihood of them as first people at a nasty event receiving dangerous retaliation. Second they want the uniform to result in respect or some semblance of it. We want to have a protective response team in society, the police are it and we want them to keep at it, as safely as possible for them and us, with tools to assist that, just not become like USA cops, even the Oz ones.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.1

          First they want to limit the likelihood of them as first people at a nasty event receiving dangerous retaliation.

          Deterrence doesn’t work.

          Second they want the uniform to result in respect or some semblance of it.

          Being a police officer should garner that respect. If they’re not getting it then they should probably question why they’re not as it most likely has something to do with how they act.

          We want to have a protective response team in society, the police are it and we want them to keep at it, as safely as possible for them and us, with tools to assist that,

          Yes but greater penalties for attacking a police officer isn’t one of those tools simply because it doesn’t work and brings about an Us vs Them mentality.

          • higherstandard 6.2.2.1.1

            “Being a police officer should garner that respect. If they’re not getting it then they should probably question why they’re not as it most likely has something to do with how they act.”

            So in a similar way it’s somehow the ambulance officers fault when they get abused or assaulted by drunk or drugged up idiots ?

            • KJT 6.2.2.1.1.1

              While many police officers are a credit to the uniform a large minority are not.

              I’ve seen some police officers, and the system itself, act in ways that definitely do not gain respect.

              Of course it is only poor or brown kids so who cares. Except when they finally take out their frustration and helplessness on someone else.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2.1.1.2

              I was talking about respect, you’re talking about assault. The two things are different.

  7. Treetop 7

    The AOS need to be more readily available for a start and to make sure that all cops are trained and confident regarding the access to guns which they now have.

    Where is the money going to come from for guns?

  8. Flying spaghetti monster 8

    with the current state of firearms safety and ability in our police force, given recent events and small talk i’ve had with police, arming them all the time will be more dangerous for them, the public & make it easier for any criminal that wants a glock to get one.

  9. Murray Olsen 9

    The only benefit I can see is that armed police arriving at the accident scene may have recognised Garth McVicar as a dangerous lunatic and pumped him full of lead.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    “Lead poisoning” will likely become an increasing cause of death for NZ citizens if the police are fully armed. The prospect is worrying because:
    • currently training for those coppers regularly tooled up is for torso shots, not extremities, so death is highly likely to result when a gun is produced and fired by an NZ blue belly.
    • Police culture change moves slowly to state the obvious, guns will be used as a short cut to negotiation or observation and conversation with the community
    • Taser and pepper were meant to be alternatives to lethal force in dangerous situations but seem to be used more as compliance or summary punishiment devices, so what would NZ police officers do if actually armed?

    • KJT 10.1

      How many innocent people, or very minor crims, get killed by guns in the USA compared with gun toting criminals?

      I seem to remember about 11 to 1.

      If there is an unsecured gun in the household the biggest risk is not to criminals, but to other family members.

      Similarly, with armed police we will have a much increased risk to innocent bystanders.

      My own, admittedly subjective, experience says that having more mature police officers, will do more to cut down assaults, on police, than being armed.
      19 is way too young to have that sort of responsibility.

    • prism 10.2

      Tiger Mountain
      You sound well informed. These points must be considered. The standard of policing must be kept high, as bad practices once entrenched are as hard to eradicate as a herpes virus. These remain dormant and then break out in an ugly eruption.

  11. muzza 11

    More smoke and mirror diversions….

    Still no real solutions to the root cause of the escalating problems in society, of the key systems.

    Can anyone say, outcome control!

  12. PunditX 12

    The police are already armed. There is a program currently being rolled out to put a bushmaster rifle and a Glock pistol in every car..

    • Tiger Mountain 12.1

      Sure Pundit, but they still have to retrieve the shooter from the vehicle, lock box or not which is different to having it on their person. There are a few seconds at least extra time before blowing someone away, unless they just keep the weapons handy regardless of regulations. What about training? what depth of training can several thousand coppers expect to receive given the woeful performance of the likes of Constable Abbott and others including AOS members when set loose with a gun.

    • Murray Olsen 12.2

      Detectives have been armed for at least 30 years. The Police are armed, they just don’t want people to know they are.
      Given the way they already use batons, pepper spray and tasers for summary punishment, open arming would probably see at least some of them using flesh wounds in the same way. As far as I’m concerned, they need to show a lot more need and a lot more competence to even justify the weapons they have. The AOS is supposed to be an elite unit, but they have little trouble in killing an innocent driver. How often would that happen with guns on all their hips?

      • felix 12.2.1

        “Detectives have been armed for at least 30 years. The Police are armed, they just don’t want people to know they are.”

        Yep, my understanding is that any officer ranked Sgt or above has the option of carrying. At least that’s what a gun-toting Sgt told me ~25 years ago.

    • Colonial Viper 12.3

      There is a program currently being rolled out to put a bushmaster rifle

      A fucking rifle as standard issue?

      What possible situation are you ever ever ever going to want a regular beat cop aiming a rifle 100m down a street at anything. FFS a recipe for fucking tragedy.

  13. PunditX 13

    Viper this is what they have in the car..
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_law_enforcement_index.asp

  14. gnomic 14

    The cops are already armed pretty well surely. As other posts above have mentioned, the d’s carry handguns at their discretion. I seem to recall Ross Meurant sharing that he rarely hopped into the unmarked without a weapon. Not quite the same as every flatfoot packing on the hip admittedly (not that they have flat feet any more rolling in their cruisers). But is arming the police really going to strengthen the thin blue line that saves us from anarchy? However no doubt easier than trying to analyse the causes of criminality and trying to restrain it by peaceful means. And let us never forget that cops need crime. And every kilo of weed causes $11k worth of ‘social harm’. An economist worked that out. Anybody care to commission BERL to find out how much harm is caused by enforcement of stupid laws? Sheesh.

    Alas, no doubt they will eventually get their guns, and further on down the road their electronic sniffers that know what nasty little misdemeanours or felonies you’ve been indulging in. What a wonderful world it will be.

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    Time Lords: The historical transition of the Monarchy: from that which rules, to those who reign, was a remarkable constitutional innovation. Neither a true monarchy, nor yet a full republic, Britain’s constitutional monarchy offered its subjects something unique. "[A] constitution...
    Bowalley Road | 14-04
  • IPCC 5th Assessment Report – exposing NZ on climate policy
    The IPCC’s 3rd Working Group has just released the final section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Following WGI report on the science and WGII on impact, this one focuses on a response strategy. The Report recalls that annual global emissions...
    frogblog | 14-04
  • Maori Party / Key fundraiser
    The Political Anorak News is full of the $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Maori Party hosted by John Key at the Northern Club in Auckland. A few thoughts: Nothing illegal about this at all, or really anything immoral either. Key wants...
    Polity | 14-04
  • The cost of small transport projects
    Every year the 21 local boards each get a share of $10 million to spend on transport projects in their area. The money is split up based on the population (except for Waiheke and Gt Barrier). The amount that each...
    Transport Blog | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • Trading through a more complex global economy
    Australia signed a trade deal with Japan last week. Does that help or hinder New Zealand’s trade ambitions and prospects? There are four parts to New Zealand’s trade strategy, broadly followed since Trade Minister Tim Groser enunciated them when an...
    Colin James | 14-04
  • In search of found time
    Originally published at Overland Three different projects dealing with presence, absence and the passage of time. The first one is straight photography: no tricks. Irina Werning’s Back to the Future features adults posing as their childhood selves in replicas of...
    Bat bean beam | 14-04
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless talley
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04