Why did Police breach own Taser rules and inflame TPPA protest?


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It’s seems clear that police on the Wellington TPPA demonstration yesterday were in breach of their own rules for use of the taser.

Frank Macskasy’s blogpost today has photos clearly identifying several officers carrying tasers and yet the police “standard operating procedures” are clear they are not to be carried by police at demonstrations.

These police procedures for “Electro Muscular Incapacitation” devices (tasers) contain several restrictions on their use including:


The use of EMI device is restricted in the following circumstances: 

Crowd Situations 

As a single shot weapon, the EMI device is best suited to application against individuals. 

  • In crowd situations, consideration must be given to the potential to inflame the situation before an EMI device is utilised. 

  • The EMI device is not to be carried by members rostered for duty at demonstrations. 

The inflammatory effect of their presence on the demonstration is reported by Wellington demonstrators – the very thing the operating procedures were designed to avoid.

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Police have carried tasers on other demonstrations and I was involved in a complaint about officers armed with this weapon at a protest at the GCSB spybase at Waihopai in January 2014.

It could be however that police operating procedures have changed (I can’t find any evidence of this online) and that police no longer have concern for their inflammatory effect.

Either way protests need to be lodged with the (so-called) Independent Police Conduct Authority, Phone 0800 503 728 or (04) 499 2050 or email enquiries@ipca.govt.nz


  1. Why would protests need to be (pre) lodged with the police?
    What law states that is a requirement for the people?
    Why suggest that?

    If the police are dispatched to a protest they know they are going to a protest right?
    There is no independent police conduct authority. The police self regulate like all of the Crown’s tyrannical entities( govt inc).

    New research proves tasers need to be reclassified as ‘lethal” weapons. That NZ police are using them at at all should be a concern as in a political police state where they ignore operating procedure (that we have) they will soon carry them everywhere.


    • I’m think he means lodge a protest about the police carrying weapons in breach of their own guidelines, not tell the police if you are having a demonstration (although I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to do that anyway depending on the place/situation).
      That’s why he says to lodge protests with the IPC not the police themselves.

      • No he said “Either way protests need to be lodged with the (so-called) Independent Police Conduct Authority, Phone 0800 503 728 or (04) 499 2050 or email enquiries@ipca.govt.nz

        Maybe you can answer why JM suggests this, what law is it that says people have to (pre)lodge their protests with the police?
        As agreed the IPC are not independent from the police.

        Tasers are lethal weapons as are people conditioned to OBEY,like cult members that follow authority unquestioningly( even when they know they could harm people).
        The officers with tasers at the peaceful protest were on duty.

        The fact remains the TPPA has not been disclosed. As such there has been no public debate and there is no consent from the people of NZ.
        The people of NZ were not even listed as co applicants in the high court case!
        No disclosure =no consent.

          • Most protests are “walking down the street”.
            This action of protesters all travelling in a private capacity and not harming anyone does not (not by any law) require persons to (pre) lodge them with the policeIPC.
            Pre lodging a protest with police is an example of people in the classic police state thinking and OBEY mindset, unquestioning, that the police state want to engender.

  2. “Oh, those officers were not *rostered for duty* at the demonstration. They merely passed by to support other rostered staff.”

  3. We now live in a police state in all but name, where the police are a “law” unto themselves, and as for the “Independent” complaints authority, they are a SICK JOKE!

  4. About 20 years ago I was thinking of joining the NZ Police.I never did join.Twenty years on and I looked at the Police presence on the TV3 news etc.I actually wondered to myself if they(some Police officers)really wanted to be there?!I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a number would have joined the protestors if they had half a chance.
    Should I go on a march I intend to ask one or two Police whether they want to be on the side they are standing on or whether they would prefer to be standing with the protestors.

    • “Just Me”, the impression I got from watching the policemen and women was that they were nervous, and would’ve preffered to be somewhere else. A part of me was feeling sorry for them.

      But not for the neuron-challenged individual who authorised the deployment of tasers (I counted four or five) against a crowd of six thousand.

      Pointless. Crazy. Provocative.

      Just a few of the words that come to mind.

      It may satisfy the law’n’order rednecks in our society, but generally those halfwits are not the ones having to clean up the mess afterwards.

  5. Don’t know the wording of any “guidelines” mentioned above.
    The demo I was at had a pretty low quay Babylon presence – they spent most of the time directing traffic. Confirm visual on 2 officers w tayzzerrs.
    Agree that some Babylon soldier would have much in common w those on the demo. Any major dude will tell you that.
    Was a good feeling of solidarity on the day and lots of toots from cars.
    A good looking wave is coming jah. Lets paddle hard out and get the lift…

  6. A very good question, was there not one senior officer or commissioner not long ago, who “assured” us that tasers would NOT be used during protests? NOW, how long did that comment or promise last?

    I have NO trust in the police in New Zealand, as during some protest action I suffered myself at their hands, and it was nasty. They are not ones you would trust or wish to deal with, when it comes to any argument, they break their rules quite often. That does not mean that all police officers do so, there are actually honest and decent ones, who would report misconduct by colleagues. But sadly they may be sidelined and silenced through internal workings, that is if a senior officer decides to rather cover some misconduct and do all to sweep things under the carpet.

    In any case, if you go to a protest, and it gets a bit tense, always try to keep close contact with others, those you know and can trust, and never lose sight. Close ranks and stay strong, and they will themselves be too scared to use a taser.

    But in some situations, you would never know, some rogue officer may lose his nerves, or even tries to take a chance, and let it go.

    This should though not be carried as routine at ANY protest, it is good that this has been exposed, and the police must be held to accound and give us answers. The MSM sadly won’t ask these hard questions, so it will be up to bloggers, activists and supporters to keep them honest.

  7. I should have thought that a Taser was a “one-shot” weapon. I should have thought that the “threat” in a demonstration involved a large number of people, say a stampede.

    That doesn’t seem a very good match to me. So why are the New Zealand Police making this decision? It doesn’t seem logical to me.

    After all, they didn’t issue long batons that could only be used once, did they.

    So it seems that New Zealand Police management are deliberately putting their staff “in harms way” by equipping them with the wrong tools.

    Sadly, the reason for this eludes me. Can someone offer a suggestion?

  8. Please all try to keep up!

    The police on the day were’t issued with Tasers for the demonstration. After a hugely successful trial period, they are now standard issue for all uniformed police.



    “The reality is that police officers often enter into high risk situations.

    “With Taser immediately accessible, this provides added confidence for our staff and communities that if a situation does escalate into violence.. our officers have appropriate tools to manage the situation.”

    Police research showed for every nine times a Taser was presented, it was only charged once, he said, while other tactical options had much higher injury rates.

    “Their working environment often involves entering high risk situations. Immediate accessibility of the Taser provides them with added confidence they can safely de-escalate violent situations.

    “Officers have also cited examples where the Taser has proved a life saving alternative to a firearm.”

    • “PLease try to keep up”?!

      What a silly cliche to throw back at us, Andrew.

      As others have reminded you, you (and other cheerleaders for the cops) weren’t even present on the day so you’re talking out your arses. You can’rt dismiss the provacative nature of the deployment of tasers on the day – you weren’t there to witness the antagonism it cause. It it hadn’t been for organisors and marshals, the aftrnoon might well have ended in violence.

      You, Lionking, and others are indulging in a Hollywood-style masterbatory fantasy if you think six tasers could cope with 6,000 people. Those weapons did not keep the peace, they nearly destroyed it. You’re quoting theory from a website – I’m telling you what happened on the day.

      Next time, you should attend a protest march and actually witness events, rather than wanking on about things you are ignorant of.

      Honestly, you righties are pathetic. Your grasp on reality is tenuous, at best.

  9. Funny we used to trust the police , now under Key they are often the enemy.Little America is here,its all downhill if we let it happen.
    John Key has the gaul to say all were rent a crowd,he hates opposition to his control.

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