GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Exceptional Leadership Prime Minister!


Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on all military-style semi-automatic weapons and all assault rifles and there will be a buyback scheme to take the firearms out of circulation.

People who hold weapons illegally would be protected by a police amnesty.

That’s terrific.

Some of the weapons that will still be allowed I have to say are a real concern and I will be making a representation to the select committee to toughen the laws up even further.

Certainly all guns need to be registered to licensed fire arm holders. It is an absurd situation that police do not know what guns firearms permit holders actually own.

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Out of tragedy hope is emerging.


Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. I was so very impressed with the caring, warm, sensitive ‘inclusive’ call by the gentle character of Efeso Collins today on the TV one morning panel.

    Efeso is exactly the type of leader we desperately need to heal us all in today’s divided secular bitter broken society.

    Sadly the presentation by the much more ‘abrasive character of Mary Lambie was sadly an injury to our feelings of hope that this tragedy will bring us together in the wonderful manner that Efeso wants “in a totally inclusive warm caring manner as we are desperately hoping all our community issues may also be resolved.

    It is a must watch to see the special tenderness expressed by this extraordinary man Efeso Collins that should be a senior MP in this current Labour government who has expressed the same will to add Labour as a, Quote; “gentle, kind, caring, inclusive government”.

    This was a special moment that came from the TV one morning report after 8 am during the discussion panel on the Christchurch memorial happening today one week after the killings.

  2. A calm and rational approach to finding a solution that suit NZ in the future is needed.

    Stop gap measures appear to be in place while further discussion across community and with expert advise to Govt, need not be rushed. In spite of the strong emotional response evoked across NZ ( and globally) to recent events and opinions expressed we need a sound process to produce effective legislation controlling firearms.

    Money will need to be spent to fix the mess left by past under funding of the Police firearms management, causing a break down in the firearms register that was in place for decades.

    This should have been fixed in 1982 when it became public knowledge that the registration of firearms was in a mess. Repair to the firearms register would have been difficult but now it may be impossible.

    Repair was avoided and as a cost sensitive measure the system changed by dumping registration of firearms and switched to only licensing the person who was allowed to possess a firearm.
    From that point onward no tracking of firearms was allowed for in law, budgetary provision for police nor policy in the processing of licenses.

    A potential freeing up of purchasing of firearms by license holders became possible with no monitoring by Police or anyone. A license holder was not held to declare what he owned and could buy from or sell to any other license holder without any official record of that transaction having take place.

    Contrary to the inaccurate plethora of opinion expressed currently, when individual firearms were registered the potential new owner was vetted, interviewed and questioned and as well as the firearm in question was inspected before it became registered to that person which entailed two trips to the Police station. Every change of firearm ownership was monitored by this process and the owner interviewed along with inspection of the firearm.

    Many statement were released over the years justifying and often praising the simpler licensing system which ignored any tracking of firearms. All basically political bullshit.

    Cost cutting has cost us dearly and will continue to cost directly and also indirectly as the criminal black market for firearms is now well stocked.

    • Very true John W.
      I have nothing but respect for the officers who quickly took the terrorist in to custody last Friday but Police administration of our current firearms licensing system has been abysmal. Maybe it’s cost cutting maybe it’s ineptitude.
      “Heather du Plessis-Allan called for gun registration in her column on Sunday. To support her case she reminded readers of Peter Edwards. He was able to buy many guns over 18 months, modify them and then sell them to gangs.

      Du Plessis-Allan left out the part about Edwards having had 53 serious criminal convictions in Australia. But our police still gave him a gun licence because they fail to data match with our cousins across the pond.

      That horror case was now five years ago. Police initially told me the situation was remedied and such an incident could not be repeated. When pressed, they finally admitted nothing has been done. At all. They are still, “developing a policy”.”
      “So what is the true scale of the problem? Police have confirmed that at least 1132 Australian criminals have been given a New Zealand firearms licence. Because of a lack of data matching, at least 36 then went on to commit a firearms offence.”
      “We can add this inexcusable failure to the police failing to follow up on thousands of expired firearm licences. When I last checked in 2017 there were 6727 such expired licences. It was confirmed that thousands were “awaiting action”.”

      Oh and then there is the small matter of police losing 25,000 shooters. Read that again. Lost from their records at the last big law change because it was a “bespoke project” they were only formally revoked in 2007 with no follow up.

      At the time of the last Parliamentary inquiry into the criminal misuse of guns our police also admitted 29 known gang members had a current firearms licence.

      This is the same service now wanting to register all firearms. Despite having to abandon the last system due to a 66 per cent inaccuracy rate. Yet their police union even wants to register the sales of ammunition.”
      This on top of revelations the Christchurch shooter applied for his license out of area, wasn’t interviewed in person, gave two internet chat buddies as referees never had a partner or next of kin interviewed and never had a house inspection. Warnings of his behaviour to police went unheeded.

      So it is not without good reason that many are unsure of the safety of information in police hands. When queried on this, the police spokesman compared a firearms register to the sex offenders register.

      The police firearms administration couldn’t run a hot dog stand.

    • “Many statement were released over the years justifying and often praising the simpler licensing system which ignored any tracking of firearms. All basically political bullshit.

      Cost cutting has cost us dearly and will continue to cost directly and also indirectly as the criminal black market for firearms is now well stocked.”

      On this score, you and I speak with one voice

      Couldnt have put it better myself John. Well bloody said, mate

    • Remember, perpetrator of this heinous mass crime was a foreign national – Australian.

      Before rushing headlong into new laws;

      1. It would be best to look at the metrics of the individual who committed these heinous acts and ask questions of current government on how this mass murderer was able to acquire his licenses to begin with.

      2. Based on above, start by enacting law to ban foreign nationals from receiving licenses for this type of firearm.

      3. Government is using this heinous series of crimes to further an already in place agenda – ask yourself how the two coincide.

      • “Based on above, start by enacting law to ban foreign nationals from receiving licenses for this type of firearm”

        Prior to 15 March, all mass shootings in New Zealand were by New Zealanders.

        “Government is using this heinous series of crimes to further an already in place agenda – ask yourself how the two coincide.”

        They do not concide. If you’re implying a “conspiracy”, that does nothing to understand the circumstances of what led to someone committing such an atrocity. It also let’s far right fanatics of the hook.

        Funny how Islamist shootings are terrorism, but if a far right fanatic does it, it’s dismissed as a “conspiracy”? And coincidentally, it all seems to eminate from right wing conspiracy pundits.

        • Similarity Frank other terminology is selectively couched and established as pertaining to a particularly derogatory meme.

          We hear “radicalised ” used describing Muslims or others some of whom may well be opposing or resisting unjust invasion or occupation of their “homeland”, but you never hear of the neo liberal radicalisation of our politicians and economic system.

          We have been attacked ideologically and radically changed since the roger douglas led intervention followed by a parade of other neoliberal ideologues.

          That ideological radicalisation has ignored the well being of Kiwis, widened the gap in wealth. education, health, home ownership, afford-ability of healthy food, shelter and mental health.

          We have also been radicalised into accepting these changes.

  3. As Jacinda said in her first address to parliament after the massacre, she did not expect to ever have to do what she was now doing.
    NZ was stunnned by what happened and we needed our leader to take charge, comfort us, and give us hope.
    Jacinda did all that admirably.
    She has rightly drawn universal praise for her words and actions.
    If there were any doubts about her leadership qualities before, there shouldn’t be any now.

  4. I think that if people want weapons they need to say what they are for and we need to know how many others they already own. And the background checks need to be tightened up.

    So who is being called to account for allowed the murderer to have guns without the proper vetting process. I am sure this isn’t the first time this has happened.

    I expect that aspect will be ignored.

  5. I see police now stating the vetting for the shooter was not as stated in my post above – if correct consider that portion retracted.

  6. In response to your article, please do seek greater gun restrictions and…Thanks! Also could not agree more about JA as PM, an exceptional personal response to a shocking shooting. she has now been capitulated into another historical stratosphere thanks to how she responded to a terrible but worldly crisis during an already unusual leadership role. The world rightly acknowledges her.

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