Kawerau siege not a reason to arm Police



Thoughts of course must go to the officers and their families. Facing any violence during your job is not acceptable and the peaceful outcome is Policing at its best.

I don’t think it would have been wise to allow family to collect Rhys Richard Ngahiwi Warren, because you can’t give someone more hostages in that situation. However using the family and reaching out to Whanau to de-escalate this was essential to the peaceful outcome which raises questions about the manner this situation was prosecuted from the beginning.

Would it have been better to engage family and whanau from the beginning after they reported the first shots? The family’s deep distrust of the Police that led them to camp out probably saved Warren’s life.

Questions need to be asked as to how this all unraveled so quickly. The Police initially claimed their cannabis spotter plane was shot at which has in later reports been watered down to ‘shots were heard’. This matters as it crucial to the justifications for bringing in armed police.

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We can be thankful that no one is dead and it can not be a justification for arming Police as those Officers at the address were already armed when they entered.

Lot’s of questions are still out standing.


  1. I think the cops have to be praised for dealing with this in the way they have. Four cops shot and the shooter gets a ride in a nice car and he even gets to leave his sunglasses on. And all over a harmless herb. Brilliant. Not even Gilbert Shelton could have dreamed that up.

    The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

    By the way? Gilbert Shelton? My hero. Big, big love for that man.

    • You must be joking? The police knew a gun was in use & still end up with 4 police shot, thankfully they did not die but it must be more luck than good management for that outcome. On any building site we need a SSSP (site specific safety plan) to take away any risk of injury. The plan is EIM (eliminate, isolate, minimize) any risk of injury/death so that people go home safely after work. While I can understand this was a fast moving situation the police are supposed to be from the higher part of the IQ bell curve so should be capable of keeping themselves safe. I would suspect the gung-ho attitude portrayed in many entertainment programs has fooled some police that they have the same powers to escape the laws of physics.

    • +100…the police are to be congratulated for getting the offender out without shooting him!…everyone I have talked to says the same

      …this is what makes New Zealanders proud of their police as opposed to what the Americans do…ie shoot first

    • I think it is technically 3 cops shot, since one was shot “in a separate incident”, which sounds like the cop either shot himself or one of his fellow officers by accident (another reason to NOT arm cops imo).

  2. “The family’s deep distrust of the Police that led them to camp out probably saved Warren’s life.”

    That comment is as absurd as the beard you wear.

    • This is the last subject you or any one else should be getting all internet tough guy (ITG) over. The fact you bring up errelevant hear say underlies your complete lack of knowledge for law enforcing procedure, and your willingness to turn these tragic events into political points scoring.

      The next words out of your keyboard should (could, will) be hope the injured officers have a speedy recovery and safe travels to all involved.

  3. 1. My thoughts are with the injured cops and their families.

    2. Nothing justifies shooting at police, the fact that 4 were shot is indefensible.

    3. In my view, this event simply reinforces the fact that police will be routinely armed in the not to distant future.
    4. The family of the gunman were invited for their comment and stated among other things that the helicopter flying over the gun mans house through the night would have frightened him. They made no comment or effort to wish the cops a speedy recovery or or offer any sympathy.Absolutely pathetic of them.

    5. Best wishes to the police involved.

      • I mean to think the family is going to let this guy off the hook real easy is far from the truth.

        The chief negotiator said it quite plainly when he addressed the media for the first time when he said:

        He had been on the job for 30 hours.

        The four officers in hospital are the heroes.

        You don’t often get the oppertunity to deal with these types of events and that he was proud of the over all professionalism of all staff involved.

        That’s a pass in my books. I’m not surprised that a lot of people seeing this type of tragedy for the first time feel the need to use these types of forums to act out and show displays of emotion.

        Truth is in this case police procedure worked. Of course they could always do with more money. But what are you going to do when most comments are about how awful all this makes every one feel

    • They made no comment or effort to wish the cops a speedy recovery or or offer any sympathy.

      How do you know that? where you there, at the interview?

      I suspect that all you really know is whatever the MSM chose to air of the interview, after its editing process. Be wary of jumping to conclusions.

      • Quite right the propoganda we get fed evey day makes it hard to get the full correct story on anything The main thing here is all the shot police officers have survived and will continue doing one of the toughest jobs of all
        It could have had a very different outcome

  4. We didn’t hear/see in the media about “Step One: how it started”. What we did see/hear was: “Step ?: nearing completion” and “Step ? : conclusion”. It seems a lot went unreported.

  5. I agree Martyn – Despite the fact we are politically poles apart, I also see no need to arm police any more than they already are.

    My personal experience overseas indicates that the police are are often incompetent with firearms because the budget is nowhere near big enough to train them properly. It is also my experience that over time a number of weapons will be taken off officers and either stolen or worse, used against them.

    At the same time, I see no need tighten firearm ownership rules. In NZ we are blessed with relatively few firearms offences and the effort required to tighten access could be better spent elsewhere.

    It seems the offender has previously served time in a high security prison so his possession of the weapon was illegal anyway. Thus demonstrating that making something illegal doesn’t necessarily prevent it happening.

    Could his relatives be charged with criminal offences for giving him access to a weapon whilst knowing he was a convicted felon?

    • Having a gun licence and associating with criminals is a no no. But all you could expect is to not have your gun licence renewed, and then eventually reapply. It’s not a widely investigated offence and is usually looked into through other efforts.

  6. I’ll have to go back and dig up the report I read several weeks ago stating that current police were getting insuficiant fire arms training due to budget restraints that limited the amount of bullets they could use at target practice! If that’s the case then how can we even afford to arm all front line police, and if we did how will they have suitable experience at using the equipment?

    Why is there so much pressure for NZ to arm police, who is to benefit?

  7. I know some will disagree but if i can use the following analogy. Police are given cars to use despite the fact that sometimes they will crash and by consequence cause injury or even death, but in the end it is better than police not having cars as it enables them to respond better to help the public. Route arming of police would do the same, it would enable a better police response in them helping the public, protecting us and them from the likes of the armed and dangerous criminals in our community. I know that not all will agree but therein lies the benefits of living in a democracy and access to blogs such as this that enable a variety of views to be aired.

  8. This siege was sadly only one incident in an increasing number of incidents where guns have been involved. Of course the police and their Association will continue to press for wider arming of police, following this, the discovery of over a dozen automated guns in the hands of drug running gangs and a shooting in Papakura last night.

    Fact is, whether we like it or not, little ol New Zealand has changed and is changing fast, by the day. With more population, with a divided society created by neoliberal, self interest and competition promoting governments, less informative discussion and a dog eat dog society, many at the bottom feel they are facing a cliff, so they use all means to do what they see fit to get it their ways.

    This includes people that may grow some marihuana in the hills, it includes those responsible for more serious “business”, it includes even the ordinary WINZ client, facing unhelpful, draconian systems enforcing case managers, and denying people support.

    It was with dismay what I observed in that court in Christchurch, where Russel John Tully was facing a trial, for a double murder, for which he has now been found guilty by a jury.

    From the outset he was labeled as “demanding”, “intimidating” and so forth, having to be trespassed. I wonder though, despite two earlier convictions many years ago, whether he was of a killer mindset kind of a person, who loved going around shooting people, or whether the society we now have, does not contribute to more feeling isolated, feeling left out, feeling they cannot make a living without resorting to some forms of criminal behaviour?

    At least here in Auckland social divisions are clear to see, and any person, who has had a bad start in life, will always be reminded by the judgmental and “silent majority”, what they did wrong, so how can any person be rehabilitated?

    The government presents us dressed up figures about rehabilitation in jails, but the reality will look rather different. Just as different the reality about “fight clubs” is to what we are usually told about the “luxury prisons” some go on about.

    I heard some rednecks go on again, about the privileged Maori, when the news about this particular incident broke, and how it ended without more bloodshed.

    So the ones that struggle and get discriminated most the time, they are “privileged”? No wonder we make no progress, while other countries like Finland have made more progress in rehabilitating people.

    Arming the police will hardly solve the problems, we only risk an escalation, following yet again Uncle Sam’s model, in the mighty USA, where they have the worst record for people locked away in the developed world.

  9. Arming the police is only part of the solution. Teaching them to be less trigger-happy is another part . . .

    • The only orginisation that has except able standards of weapons handling in a very low threat inviroment while firing off rounds in highly populated areas is the 1st NZSAS.

      Even the armed offenders squad has shown very poor marksmanship by not properly identifying targets and expelling disproportionate amounts of ammunition resulting in collaterals injury and fatality.

      Going one step down and arming all beat cops is a stupid idea. Given that it costs 2 million just to get an SAS trooper up to standards, I wouldn’t want that training to be any less for other orginisations carrying weapons in a very low threat environment.

  10. The Tories-NACT certainly DO want an armed Police Force. Every modern dictatorship has been propped up in its infamy by armed ‘stormtroopers’.

    The PM has armed protection squad, why should the rest of the dictatorship cabal, not be protected from ‘flying dildos’, shoes and being booed?

    It’l be a slippery slope into entrenched dictatorship once the police are armed.

  11. Just read Josie Butler’s account of the TPPA Roadshow in Chch. Her account quoted below is why police should NEVER be given guns.

    I smiled at him and yelled “not good enough!” and squirted him, a lot, in the face with the water pistol. It was all very friendly, and we both had a good laugh. Suddenly I was grabbed from behind by a police officer, I had my arm twisted behind my back, heavy flexion put on my wrists and was marched down the street. He shouted at me “you are under arrest for disorderly conduct!” I was incredibly shocked by this heavy handed approach to a bit of playful protest. The MFAT official came over and told the police officer that it was fine, and that he most certainly did not want to press charges. Our film crews came over and started recording. The police officer continued to put heavy flexion on my wrists, repeating that I was under arrest. I asked him to please loosen his hold on me because he was hurting me. He ignored me. I appealed to him again and said that I was not resisting or any risk to anybody, and would he would please stop hurting me. I reminded him the cameras were recording everything, and that he was potentially about to make a martyr for our cause by arresting me. He confirmed that the MFAT official did not want to lay charges, and then let me go, telling me to “pull my fucking head in”. It is worth noting that apart from this specific police officer, all of the police on site were polite and pleasant, and seemed supportive of our cause. – See more at: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/03/12/guest-blog-josie-butler-why-i-attacked-the-tppa-roadshow/?utm_content=bufferad14e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.hjukktSR.dpuf

    NEVER give the police guns, otherwise NZ’s decent into New Keyland, will be totally complete

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