14 December 2007
Campaign Against the Taser releases report on Taser trial
Stun guns in Aotearoa New Zealand? The shocking trial
A report on the New Zealand Police Taser trial
1 September 2006 – 1 September 2007
The Campaign Against the Taser (CATT) has today released its report on the police Taser trial to
assist informed debate on the decision due soon about whether or not the weapon will be issued to
frontline police officers.
"Our report analyses the trial, which we monitored throughout, and raises very real and disturbing
concerns about the way the Taser has been used by some police officers. A shocking forty percent
of incidents between September 2006 and March 2007 were in breach of the Standard Operating
Procedures drawn up to regulate Taser use during the trial", CATT spokesperson Marie Dyhrberg
said this morning.
"Taken together with the increasing death toll associated with Taser use overseas, and the number
of inquiries now underway in those jurisdictions, our analysis of the New Zealand trial makes it
clear that there should be no hasty decision on Taser deployment here."
The CATT report warns that the Taser should not be introduced as a part of the New Zealand
police arsenal solely on the basis of the police report on the trial, nor should the decision be made
by the Police Commissioner alone.
"The decision making process is unbalanced and undemocratic: the same people who trialed the
Taser and wrote the official report will now make the decision", Dyhrberg said.
"Our report recommends the decision be suspended until there has been a full and independent
inquiry into Taser deployment and whether or not it is necessary and desirable.
"Introducing potentially lethal weapons into policing is a matter that must be fully justified before it
is done - both to the public, and to Parliament which bears the ultimate responsibility for the
welfare and safety of all New Zealanders", Dyhrberg said. "Following an independent inquiry, any