Friday 24 October 2014

Things that make me want to get citizenship here...

I haven't yet gotten around to upgrading from Permanent Residence to Citizenship in New Zealand.

This kind of thing does make it tempting.

New Zealand still does not have an armed constabulary. The police, some of them, have a gun in the trunk of the car that they can get if they really need it. But otherwise they're unarmed.

That doesn't stop their agitating to be armed. The head of the police union, Greg O'Connor, keeps demanding it. The attack on the Canadian Parliament helped spark his union's latest demand that the police regularly be armed.

Here's the New Zealand Police Commissioner's response:
The Police Commissioner said calls from the Police Association to arm all officers are not backed up by evidence which shows assaults on staff are falling, along with crime.
Commissioner Mike Bush said arming the police would change the police's relationship with the public beyond repair.
He said it was incorrect to say that the Police Association was talking on behalf of all police staff.
Darned proud of that folks stand up to the likes of Greg O'Connor here, in the Outside of the Asylum.

Update: here's more complete comments from Police Commissioner Mike Bush.
But Mr Bush says officers already have firearms readily available to them if they need to use them, and arming the force would be "quite a different style" of policing.
"I'm sure the majority of New Zealanders don't want to change the relationship they have with the New Zealand police," he told Radio NZ.
"We're a very prevention-focused organisation. Yes, we need to respond when people need it and we believe we've given [officers] the tools, the equipment and the training to do absolutely that."
Mr Bush says assaults on police had declined in the past few years and the use of available firearms – the bushmaster, glock and Taser – accounted for about 5 percent of total use of "tactical options".


  1. Please join us citizens of NZ.

    There is something slightly disturbing in the strong view within parts of the USA that guns are good things and a right. I have no problem with people who hunt, I do have a problem with people who think they need a gun to protect themselves.

    The circular reasoning is clearly not lost on Mr Bush and for that I congratulate him.

    I have basically been told to get out of the conversation when providing information on gun based deaths for countries such as NZ versus the USA. Now I know that guns dont kill people, people do, but it is pretty hard to kill someone with a gun if you dont have one!

  2. I'm a fan of the right to keep and bear arms. But I prefer unarmed police and restricted gun rights to strong gun rights combined with a police force that regularly shoots civilians 'by accident'.

  3. I think we are agreeing, as best I can interpret via a blog. :)

  4. Is the intended implication that you would prefer an armed citizenry but an unarmed police force?

  5. The one certain outcome of arming the NZ police would be an increase in civilian deaths. Almost as certain would be an increase in police deaths.

    It's reassuring to learn that the current commissioner is able to see through the Wyatt Earp fantasies of O'Connor and his fellow travellers. One can only hope that subsequent commisioners (and politicians) are equally clear-headed.

  6. From memory the Police Association surveyed their members a few years ago and support for this among officers was actually lower than that of the public at large.

  7. The problem is a cultural one, not a possession-of-objects one. How about:

    a) proper gun rights limiting only the wielding of imprecise or area-effect weapons,


    b) a police force filled with members having good side-arms and working under a well-developed well-enforced character-requirement standard?

  8. my interpretation is allowing civilians to own guns, subject to strict requirements and I like our current version, but the Police not carrying guns all the time, as currently. I would not want to see the stupid carry-on you see in the USA with people carrying their handguns and semi automatic rifles around in public. I like the fact that it is pretty difficult to own a handgun in NZ, I really see no purpose for them.