INDEPENDENT NEWS

Maori Council calls for reform in wake of Christchurch

Published: Sun 17 Mar 2019 06:57 PM
“There are more than 1.5 million guns owned by New Zealanders or roughly one for every three New Zealanders. We also know through research and evidence that there are many guns in circulation that are not registered and let’s face it – there are some people with those guns already committing crimes. Our first recognition needs to be what we currently have in circulation and how to deal with it.” Tukaki said
“It must stand to reason that there needs to be greater investment in the monitoring of weapons already here and how has them – therefore a complete review of the current state of fire arms in New Zealand. The second thing that needs to be done is an evaluation of whether or not those current owners are fit to still be registered while at the same time potentially giving police a new and fresh way of understanding what and who is out there. The third thing we need to do is look at a system of periodic review, sampling and audit. All of that will require additional investment but then again that investment should have been made years ago – our approach to the management and oversight around fire arms appears to have lapsed.” Tukaki said
“The lessons of the Port Arthur massacre and the Howard Governments response to it should be carefully considered in the wake of Christchurch such as gun buy backs and so on but that should not inhibit us from looking closely at the systems and approach to monitoring we already have.” Tukaki said
“We also need to have a community approach to the challenge of safety and security. Communities often know what is needed but the challenge has always been getting Government to listen. Instead of a top down approach we need community driven solutions. We have more than eight hundred New Zealand Maori Wardens out there in communities every single day and one approach we would urge the Government to consider is how we can activate our Wardens to also play a community liaison role – culture to culture, kanohi ki te kanohi.” Tukaki said
“When it comes to safety and security we need to provide investment to those communities to build better infrastructure to keep their members safe and secure. That could be investing in training and monitoring systems, resilience building and strengthening as well as awareness training. Each of these things can go a long way to building a platform and sense of safety.” Tukaki said
“The Government and the Parliament may very well want to look at gun laws and why proposed changes over many years have not passed. That’s fine. But there is nothing stopping the Government and the Parliament from taking our suggestions and getting those underway now and indeed, if we did do that, then any legislative changes or amendments could be informed by that work.” Tukaki said
“At the end of the day all New Zealanders just want to be safe and secure in their own communities, homes, workplaces, gathering places and places of worship. It is up to all of us to ensure this never happens again and, in order to do so, we need to throw open the doors of our Whare and begin having much more deep and meaningful conversations around reform,” Tukaki said

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