August 12, 2021
Maori leaders oppose police guns
Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha says Māori and ethnic leaders have said no to arming of the police, but they support new training to help officers stay safe on the streets.
The Police Association says its latest survey shows about three-quarters of frontline officers want to be able to carry guns.
Mr Haumaha says that would be a significant and irreversible change in New Zealand’s policing style.
While most firearms incidents are between gang members, any attacks on police are unacceptable.
The response so far has been to develop new frontline safety training, which he says is getting a good response.
“Māori leaders have said no to general arming but they want to see the frontline staff are well equipped, improve the whole method of training, make sure they are conscious of the decisions they make that can lead them into danger and sometimes these things are very unpredictable. It’s often said we run towards danger when others run away from danger and that’s the nature of out role in terms of swearing the oath to protect our communities, protect our people, protect our country,” Mr Haumaha says.
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