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From The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ Inc

Opinion: Government’s Firearm Law Handling Disastrous

By Teddy Roosterveldt

The aftermath of the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack allegedly by an Australian gunman has been handled in a clumsy and cynically undemocratic way by government.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and her police minister, Napier MP Stuart Nash, are in the firing line – pun intended. Also deserving of the public’s wrath is NZ First and leader Winston Peters who could have stopped the indecently rushed anti-firearm legislation in its tracks.

Apart from the firearm issue was the totally dictatorial way in which the bill was forced through. The whole process was so “rushed” it defies credibility and lays waste the government’s integrity. There were 13,000 submissions and a select committee considered those in just three days so the public are asked to believe. It was totally undemocratic. NZ First should have put the brakes on the runaway bullet train and demanded that proper, democratic select committee process be adhered to. But it failed to do so. So much for Peters – reputedly a keen duck shooter and the likes of Ron Mark who has been a hunter and a firearm collector and others in the party, who could forget Rambo Jone’s holiday snaps from Thailand posing with an AR15 just days after his boss banned them.

Inexcusably, National went along with it, totally failing to perceive the anti-democratic measures and means. National MP Judith Collins in a select committee hearing berated a verbal submitter when her duty was to listen, not deliver tirades.

The only person who spoke out against this indecently rushed, anti-democratic process was David Seymour and I expect ACT will see their share of the vote increase substantially at the election because of their principled stand.

As for Stuart Nash, the MP for Napier has seen gang membership in Hawkes Bay soar by between 30 – 35 percent in the last two years. Instead of tackling rampant drug fuelled gang crime Nash and Adern have made criminals out of law abiding firearm owners rather than dealing with escalating gang growth. The police meanwhile have said they are unable to deal with the scale of the gang problem causing one blog poster to remark “When Police say something has gone beyond their ability to control then heads have to roll. Nash has proven he can’t fix it. In fact, if he has proved anything it is that he has made matters worse.”

The Hawkes Bay public are justifiably angry as shown by a packed meeting that demanded Nash do something worthwhile to halt the gang explosion. No wonder  people are so angry. In Taradale village, within Napier city, about 35 gang members indulged in a brawl with shots fired.

The gangs were armed, imagine my shock.  They are better armed now than before thanks to Adern and Nash ramming poorly focussed, ill-conceived law through, cheered on by the strident screeching of Police Association president Cahill who told the Herald the other day “the statistics paint a worrying picture about the sheer volume of firearms now circulating in the criminal underworld. That’s pretty scary.” Well thank you Sherlock, you and your bunch of muppets have just made this problem a whole lot worse destroying, in the process, the good will towards the police of up to a quarter million strong supporters of the police who now fear being treated as criminals for indulging their interests in lawful firearms ownership and the shooting sports.

The government and police have only themselves to blame for the public scepticism and the rapidly growing lack of confidence in government MPs and the police.

Nash asks for community support, but he and others have caused the loss of community support. When the Mongrel Mob took over Te Mata Peak near Havelock North, the government and police helped organise traffic and meeting facilities!

Stuart Nash cannot blame “nine years of neglect” by the previous National government 2008-17 for the growth in gang members in his region during his term as Police minister and the dubious credit for a 12 strong police raid recently on a family man, Diewue de Boer, over a photograph of a lever action .22 rabbit rifle certainly belongs to him. Another public relations disaster for the bully boy plod to add to the growing list.

The role of police in giving the Australian Tarrant a firearm licence despite glaring deficiencies in his application must not be forgotten and it is to be hoped that the Royal Commission will place a heavy burden of responsibility on both the Police hierarchy and on Jacinda Ardern’s committee in 2018 for dismantling the licencing procedure which has worked so well for over twenty years as a cost cutting measure.

The buck stops at the top, Prime Minister Adern, her hapless deputy Peters and her hopeless Police Minister Nash, and we must do all we can to ensure they are voted out come September.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. An excellent and well written article. Those of us with endorsed firearms licences were actually vetted to a higher standard than is required for serving police officers. The law change was a travesty of natural justice, and implemented by an incompetent pack of fools, both in the senior layers of Government and Police. They fully deserve the contempt they are now receiving.

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  2. National & ACT need to directly target Nash pointing out his incompetence especially throughout the gun clubs suggesting a vote for Nash/Labour is a vote for more draconian ill thought out gun restrictions as well as general waste of taxpayer $s.

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  3. A fair article in my reading. The points on the failure to abide by long established democratic process, and the opposition going along with that are well put and will resonate with this voter later this year.

    The rush to proceed with Legislative change and confiscation, albeit by another name, without awaiting the report of the Royal Commission remains an issue.

    The second tranche of legislation seeking to further amend the Arms Act and how it proceeds, will also be important in determining who and which party to vote for later this year.

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    • Isn’t good that Nash has the biggest gang proplem in the country and it will be an election issue!
      The only way for Nash to servive is to be on the list. But everyone of their incompetnt ministers can not all be on the list, or you get blow back by the others who have got a real seat!

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  4. The terrible tragedy of this Marxist dictatorial fiasco is that all of it was successfully carried out with the knowing connivance of our country’s ‘opposition’ party.

    Despite the well thought out and superbly written pieces like this, it’s worth bearing in mind that only one member of our 120 member parliament has the balls and the integrity to stand up for freedom. The freedoms which up until now Kiwis have held dear to their hearts.

    To answer Pascal’s question of a couple of days ago, if this state of affairs continues after the coming election then New Zealanders will have no option but to resort to other means to preserve their freedom.

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