11 Year Old Boy Fatally Shot in Kaingaroa Forest

conor philips

11 year old Conor Phillips will be very much missed

New Zealand’s lax gun control laws are under scrutiny again after police revealed that the male person who died yesterday in a hunting incident was an 11 year old boy. The child died as a weapon was being unloaded at the end of a hunt. Hunting permits for the forest are issued by First Security, but a spokeswoman for the company refused to comment on whether the group had a permit to be on the land.

The deceased child has been named as Connor Brian Phillips, a student at Reporoa primary school. Our thoughts and condolences are extended to his family and friends for their loss.

Reporoa has a pig hunting club, but it is not known if Connor’s shooting party had a connection with it. However, photos from the club’s Facebook page clearly show hunting is very much a family activity in New Zealand.:

823518_166745436808589_1538945915_o 21356_212473288902470_1038411728_nPrimary school aged children in NZ are no strangers to hunting, with many schools encouraging students to participate in hunting related activities, often to the repugnance of tourists and visitors from developed countries where blood sports are considered inhumane.

New Zealand’s primary school Facebook pages and events often display sponsorship from gun shops.

The images below are from Facebook: Hororata Primary School’s annual pig and possum hunt, 2014:

primary school hunt

gun

Pig dogs rip into a wild boar

Pig dogs rip into a wild boar

Lax gun control laws

Under present legislation, firearms do not have to be registered in New Zealand, police have no idea how many are in circulation and how many registered owners posses multiple weapons. A conservatives estimate puts the figure at 1.1 million.

One only has to search  on the auction site trademe.co.nz to see how popular firearms are. These are the numbers and types of items for sale in the North Island:

trademe offering in north island

The only other country to have a similar licensing system to NZ is the US.

10 Year Old Alex Fisher

In other news, police are still not many releasing details about the death of 10 year old Alex Fisher, but they do say a burglary at Waitarere Beach could be of interest to their inquiry.

alex fisher found

Alex had been missing for three days when his body was found with a head wound at a windswept lonely spot in sand dunes at Waitarere Beach, near Levin.

A man has been arrested and charged with carrying a knife.

Related stories

Hunter dies in Kaingaroa Forest
Fatally injured deer hunter was “full of life”, says father
Tributes for 15-year-old killed in duck shooting tragedy
Deerstalkers boss urges hunters to change mindset
Shot hunter back home

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5 thoughts on “11 Year Old Boy Fatally Shot in Kaingaroa Forest

  1. I am not a supporter of “gun laws” per se. Back in the States, I have a number of weapons that would not be allowed in NZ. So saying that the gun laws are inadequate is not true.
    Lax attitude towards gun safety is.
    All of the driver’s safety courses, and people still get into single vehicle wrecks.
    Give up freedom for security? Deserve neither.

  2. I have been a supporter of e2nz for many years and must say I agree so much with what you report and have been badly treated in NZ since moving here. I must however ask, how would registering gun stop idiots kill each other in the forest? Un-registered guns are not the issue, poor training and safety is the issue in this instance, as it is, with so many other NZ activities, like a relaxing, but deadly walk on the beach!

    • Unregistered guns may not be the principle in this particular incident. However, there is a laissez faire attitude to firearms with very little control over who owns what, causing children to come into contact with some very powerful weapons. For example, on Sunday a 12 year old boy high on meth robbed a shop with a rifle, all for some sweets.

    • stephen,

      I’d agree with the lack of safety training as a contributing factor. Even 10 years ago here in Australia, when I owned a firearm, the successful completion of a firearms safety course was a compulsory requirement for a firearms licence.
      That doesn’t stop complete morons from killing themselves or an innocent bystander, however it reduces the overall risk.

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