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.


    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

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

          • Draco T Bastard

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


            • McFlock

              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 😥 

    • 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

          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

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

            • diddle

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

              • weka


              • 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?


      • 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

          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

            “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

              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

              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..

  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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    Yesterday, Prime Minister Bill English announced that he would encourage the Reserve Bank to remove the loan to value ratio (LVR) rules that it put in place to take the heat out of rising house prices. As reported in Newsroom: ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Inferno VII: The circle of capitalists
    "Pape Satàn, pape Satàn aleppe!" If these words ever meant anything in any language, or were otherwise intelligible to the contemporaries of Dante Alighieri, that meaning is lost. What’s left to us is the beginning of a curse, or a ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why Labour isn’t responsible for Barnaby Joyce
    First published on Werewolf As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our ...
    2 days ago
    For Immediate Release Tuesday 15 August 2017 TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES Polls are showing that inequality is a top voter concern (Roy-Morgan and UMR Polls). The income equality group Closing the Gap is urging New Zealanders ...
    Closing the GapBy Marino Smith
    3 days ago
  • Ardern stands up for kiwis
    Today politics seems to be dominated by Australian ridiculousness, after the Australian government blamed Chris Hipkins (rather than hard-working Australian journalists) for exposing Barnaby Joyce as a New Zealand citizen, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop interfering in our election ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
    There is no question that a resurgent Labour party has closed the National party out of the media limelight. What else could Bill English do but pander to his ageist supporters by proposing boot camps and spot fines for the ...
    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
    Construction has started on huge irrigation schemes in Canterbury. When they start working, it’s going to be disastrous for our rivers - most of which are already struggling. More irrigation means more cows and that means more pollution.A few weeks ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
    Climate change is now undeniable, and if we are to survive it, the fossil fuel industry has to die. And now the Cullen Fund has recognised that fact, and started divesting its risk:The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold shares ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
    Surprise, surprise - Waikato's dairy farmers are failing to comply with their resource consents:The Waikato Regional Council says dairy farm effluent compliance rates are heading in the right direction despite less than one quarter of farms monitored last year deemed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
    The Official Information Act requires agencies to decide on requests "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". But over the decades that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
    This is another post about my recent trip to the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a standard road classification system with ideally three types of roads: flow roads (motorways), distribution roads (arterials), and local roads (residential roads). This system does not ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
    REPORTBACK: CHARLOTTESVILLE: August 13, 2017 by Redneck Revolt members The situation on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia, is still developing and unstable, but a few of our Redneck Revolt members on the ground took some time to provide the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
    The Labour party has hit the ground running with Jacinda Ardern. Not only has she shown immense capability as leader, the Labour party has clearly got its game on and returned to its core values, values that once made New ...
    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
    We need to transcend us vs them struggles, writes Philip McKibbin.   Image: The Prophet Te Whiti Addressing a Meeting of Natives from The Graphic (1881) In 1881, the peaceful village of Parihaka was invaded. Fifteen-hundred men, led ...
    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
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    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
    Who Loves Ya Baby? “I didn’t come to Parliament to act like other political parties. But this week that’s where we ended up. We have not been our best selves, and for that I am sorry.” But who are your best ...
    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
    The Victoria St Linear Park has been saved from the clutches of Auckland Transport. You may recall that we’ve been concerned about ATs plans for the future of many of the streets in the city centre for some time. In ...
    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
    .   . The mainstream media – or at least one clever journalist working for Mediaworks/Newshub – has finally caught up with a story broken by this blogger last year that unemployment data from Statistics NZ was no longer reliable; ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
    Is bootcamp the government's solution for hardened young criminals?   Photo: 123rf. National plans to solve the problem of serious youth offending by sending people to a remote, army-run boot camp for a year. But opponents of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
    This is an unabashed endorsement of an important group. I have no affiliation with them or conflict of interest. They are great, period. The ability to convey complex climate science to a wide-ranging audience is a golden attribute, something very ...
    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
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    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
    The Todd Barclay affair, where the unelected Prime Minister claimed seven times that he couldn’t recall if Barclay had told him about the secret recording of a National party staffer, proved without a doubt that Bill English is dishonest!But if ...
    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
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    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
    Last night we learned that NZ Post had been spying on the public, using microphones on its delivery vehicles to record and listen to conversations between its employees and random members of the public without the consent of either party. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
    Eye-popping beer infusions and drinking games with the bros. Lucy Zee heads to New Zealand's biggest beer festival, Beervana.   Produced and presented by Lucy Zee, and filmed and edited by Eddy Fifield. Made with the support of NZ On ...
    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
    Donald Trump would not be the first political leader to try to build his popularity, or divert attention from his troubles at home, by seeking a diversion – usually by means of a military adventure of some sort – overseas.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
    Science is helping more premature babies survive, but for parents it's still a journey marked by fear, pain and joy.   Inside of what looks like a giant Ziploc bag filled with water, the hoof of a tiny lamb ...
    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago

  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    18 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
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    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

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