No halt to Taser roll-out

BY MIKE HOULAHAN
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2009

Relevant offers

Politics

Reserve Bank mandate no longer cutting it - Labour Stacey Kirk: Is New Zealand's mental health service doing more harm than good? Legal cannabis could collect $150 million a year but Bill English isn't pursuing it Tracy Watkins: Helen Clark's down but not out in the race to lead the UN Foreign Minister Murray McCully contracted Zika Veteran Taranaki regional councillor will not contest seat in upcoming election PM's department warned of Chinese trade threats, but didn't brief him Failed leadership coup exposes more 'toxic culture' at Wellington City Council Patrick Gower admits man crush on Donald Trump's son in weird live video from RNC Helen Kelly: 'My back is broken and I only have months to live but I'm pain free'

The Government has no plans to halt issuing Tasers to police despite a United Nations warning that New Zealand may breach international obligations by approving the stun guns.

The UN Committee Against Torture yesterday issued its response to the report New Zealand presented to the Geneva-based committee this month. As part of international treaty obligations, New Zealand reports regularly to the UN on how it complies with requirements in this case, the elimination of torture.

The committee noted New Zealand's assurance that trained staff would use the Tasers in situations of imminent threat, but it remained "deeply concerned" over their introduction.

"The committee is concerned that the use of these weapons causes severe pain, constituting a form of torture, and that in some cases it may even cause death," it said.

"In addition, the committee is concerned at reports whereby during the trial period Tasers were predominantly used on Maori and youths."

Tasers were trialled in 2006-07 and approved for introduction by Commissioner Howard Broad last September.

Police Minister Judith Collins said yesterday that the Government supported the Taser's introduction.

She said the UN committee's concerns, raised previously, had been taken into account during the Taser trial. Safeguards, including the introduction of cameras on the weapon, had been added to prevent misuse.

"The Taser is not being deployed as an offensive weapon," she said . "It is to stop extremely violent offenders who are threatening the lives of individuals and the police.

"I would much rather have the police able to be armed with Tasers than firearms."

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content