Gun crime seems to be getting out of control in New Zealand with a number of firearm offences hitting the news in the last few days. These are in addition to the armed holdups which regularly plague dairies and bars across the country and hardly raise attention in the media anymore.
First a couple were shot dead in their home, that was followed by the shooting suicide of their (alleged) attacker in Woodhill Forest. Then today, a bus full of college students were terrorised by a drive-by shooting on an Auckland motorway. Lastly, eighteen gang (Black Power) members were arrested in connection with at least six shootings in the greater Auckland region between November and June 2013.
All of this is happening against a backdrop of recriminations over police compensation payments made to the family of a young shooting victim, Halatau Naittoko.
The family of Halatau Naitoko, who was accidently shot and killed on Auckland’s north western motorway in 2009, will receive $125,000 additional compensation from the police.
Assistant Commissioner Allan Boreham said at a press conference that police were giving $100,000 compensation for the hardship and suffering caused by the 17 year-old’s accidental death and $25,000 towards their legal costs.
Police had still to apprehend the person who blasted farmer Scott Guy to death at his farm three years ago. However his wife Anna Guy is still very much in the news after becoming something of a media celebrity after his death.
Another gun related story that endures to the present day in New Zealand is the David Bain compensation stoush. Baine was convicted and then released for the massacre of his family, one of many gun massacres that have taken place in the country. After he spent years in prison the NZ establishment is falling over itself to ensure he receives no compensation for his wrongful conviction and there is a constant stream of negative press generated against him.
Funny how things turn out isn’t it.
It is believed that over 1.1 millions firearms are in circulation in New Zealand, which has a population of only 4.4 million people. According to Wikipedia editors
In March 2009 the New Zealand police bid to reclassify certain types of civilian semi-automatic firearms was overturned by the New Zealand High Court as a result of a legal challenge mounted by the New Zealand National Shooters Association (NSA) president Richard Lincoln.
New Zealand’s gun laws are notably more liberal than other countries in the Pacific and focus mainly on vetting firearm owners, rather than registering firearms or banning certain types of firearms. Firearms legislation is provided for in the Arms Act and its associated regulations, though stricter unofficial police and government policies also apply.
Currently firearms and ancillary supplies are freely available in New Zealand, and may be purchased on online through ‘auction sites’ such as trademe.co.nz,