Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Tragedy into Crisis?

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  • BenWilson,

    Just a bit of international perpective on this. Where a Kiwi will be disgusted that the police didn't render timely aid to an injured victim, my visiting relatives from Australia have roughly the same response to the routine deaths of people held in custody in Ozzie due to beatings. I don't think our coppers suffer anywhere near the lack of confidence they feel over there, and for good reason.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8039 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Howell,

    It was left to Rosemary Mcleod in the Star Times to sing out of key

    Much as I hate to say it, Kerre Woodham in the Sunday Herald had a point too:

    The complaints about the time it took for the police to secure the scene seems to me that we're sending a message to cops that their lives don't matter. Only ours do. Think about that the next time you bemoan the lack of police recruits.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2008 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Palmer,

    The fact that the police may be wonderful people doing a difficult job is neither here nor there. The issue is that they are useless. They need to either shit or get off the pot. Sure, an officer might have to make the calculation that his/her pay doesn't cover the risk of entering premises where there may still be a gunman as well as a dying man, but there would have been many people on the scene, relatives of the victim, who would have made the calculation differently. They are, after all, Sikhs. But the police would as a first step prevent them from doing this.

    Second, I notice that all the victims in the recent tragedies are "Asian". I don't believe this is a coincidence; I don't believe the Asian population of South Auckland is large enough to warrant such a conclusion. The victims are Asian because the scumbags who attack society may not know much about sociology or even what or where Asia is, but they sure as hell know how to find the weak spot to attack. The anti-Asian racism in NZ fuels and enables these attacks and it has got to stop. Immediately.

    Since Nov 2006 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The victims are Asian because the scumbags who attack society may not know much about sociology or even what or where Asia is, but they sure as hell know how to find the weak spot to attack. The anti-Asian racism in NZ fuels and enables these attacks and it has got to stop. Immediately.

    It certainly casts an interesting light on Deborah Coddington's "gathering tide" of Asian crime.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The Sikhs are classy.

    Indeed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    2 years ago Christchurch was New Zealands murder capital. Most seemed to be street prostitution and therefore drug related.

    Oddly the PM didn't call to end street prostitution, but the calls of blame the victim by closing their shops is odd to me.

    The delay in cops going in is a result of our unarmed police force. Safe meeting points, prior to going in are a good idea and shouldn't change. Cops & Ambos were similarly blamed in ignorance in the Edgware Party (riot) deaths, & even our force in Timor when the Prez was shot.

    Yes Sikhs are classy, not so the reports of the young wife being unable to remarry, I expected the media to announce she would be at risk of Sati.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    2 years ago Christchurch was New Zealands murder capital. Most seemed to be street prostitution and therefore drug related.
    Oddly the PM didn't call to end street prostitution, but the calls of blame the victim by closing their shops is odd to me.

    Curiously enough, Christchurch, with roughly the same population as Manukau City, has more than twice as many liquor licences.

    But it seems clear enough that alcohol has a central role in this crime, as it does in most violent crime. That's what the robbers were after when they went there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    "2 years ago Christchurch was New Zealands murder
    capital. Most seemed to be street prostitution and
    therefore drug related."
    Shep you sound like Joanne Black. 2+2= 6 or 7!!!
    And again:
    "Yes Sikhs are classy, not so the reports of the young
    wife being unable to remarry"
    This is not so. You should check up on your Asian groupings.

    From my limited contact with policing I think that we are very lucky to have the Force that we have- warts and all!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Agree the shooter is the one to blame for Navtej Singh's death. No one else.

    The Weekend Herald portraying safetyprocedures built up on a pile of dead cops as "bureaucracy" pissed me off deeply.

    The police absolutely did the right thing. They organised to meet an unknown armed threat. They ensured the reaction by armed officers was co-ordinated. We don't need police shooting each other. They ensured no one was going to be sniping at them or ambulance staff on the scene.

    All prudent and necessary. Every public servant wants to go home to family in one piece at the end of their shift. No reasonable person should be expecting them to die on the job.

    Having been a Corrections Officer, I would not discard procedures designed to ensure my own safety to satisfy some gung-ho desk-jockey at a daily newspaper or big-mouth politician or pundit.

    If it goes wrong, management - and the public - would blame me for whatever happened and they would be right.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    If the police weren't wasting time and resources on victimless crimes, they might actually be able to respond to serious crime like this.

    But as said above, only one person is responsible for this death, and thats the cold hearted prick that pulled the trigger.

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    Also, one thing that isn't being mentioned, with all these calls to ban liquor outlets we are seing this morning.

    If Supermarkets were allowed to sell liquor, we wouldn't see the proliferation of small dodgy liquor shops. They'd simply be killed by market forces.

    Instead we feel the need to regulate and ban, causing more problems, rather than fixing the original one.

    So is the political economy of regulation, politicians have to be seen to be doing something, especially in election year, even when doing nothing, is often better (in real terms) than doing something.

    (Refer to Dog Microchipping, People who don't pay power bills etc)

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That's what we're looking at in Media7 this week: have the police lost the PR battle?

    I think the question is "why the hell are they fighting it in the first place"? I don't mean to sound crass, but the Police enjoy enormous public respect, and 99.999% of police officers, earn every bit of it. To reduce it to crude marketing terms, "The New Zealand Police Force" is a rock solid brand. Take a leaf out of Willie Apirana's book -- some things just don't need spin or message management.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    __ The victims are Asian because the scumbags who attack society may not know much about sociology or even what or where Asia is, but they sure as hell know how to find the weak spot to attack. The anti-Asian racism in NZ fuels and enables these attacks and it has got to stop. Immediately.__

    It certainly casts an interesting light on Deborah Coddington's "gathering tide" of Asian crime.

    The victims had liquor and were presumably close by. Do we know the shop was targeted because it was run by Asians? Or was it just close by?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    What seems to be clear is a societal break down in how one family & friends ended up (seemingly) comminting this crime.

    Even clearer is that the same society - shopped these guys in no short time. That has to be a good sign.

    I live near Riccarton Road and within 2kms of access to a 24hr dairy & Countdown all selling alcohol 24/7 & 50m from Pak & Save open till 11pm. Not a huge issue except for teens doing the samething I did as a kid in getting pissed in the park & marking a mess.

    The historic Pub the Caledonian (Now closed to be knocked down for apartments) had the bottle store guy shot dead about 5yrs back, again a nice bloke just trying to get by.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    We don't need police shooting each other.

    We also don't need to go the route of an armed police force that cheerfully pump 50 bullets into a guy on his stag night because they're amped up with twitchy fingers. I would prefer people who like the sound of that move to New ork, rather than bring it here.

    The police generally do best when they're measured in their response. It's when they charge in gung-ho that the wheels are most likely to come off.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    If Supermarkets were allowed to sell liquor,

    Uh what? Supermarkets do sell liquor.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I think the question is "why the hell are they fighting it in the first place"? I don't mean to sound crass, but the Police enjoy enormous public respect, and 99.999% of police officers, earn every bit of it. To reduce it to crude marketing terms, "The New Zealand Police Force" is a rock solid brand.

    And, indeed, the vox pops we gathered for this week's show do suggest that Laws-George-Hopkins are not necessarily representative of the public mood, no matter how endlessly they profess to be just that. OTOH, the police-in-crisis media meme, built of many little pieces, is potentially very corrosive for the force.

    Take a leaf out of Willie Apirana's book -- some things just don't need spin or message management.

    The irony there being that Willie Apirana's story was one of the most heavily managed in recent memory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Having been a Corrections Officer, I would not discard procedures designed to ensure my own safety to satisfy some gung-ho desk-jockey at a daily newspaper or big-mouth politician or pundit.

    ITA, Steve. And I could write the Laws/George/Hopkins column if we were talking about the funeral of a bright young police officer who'd been blown away with the same gun that killed Navtej Singh? Incompetent and careless Police management being careless with the lives and safety of frontline cops. How can they sleep at night, knowing they've destroyed a family? Etc.

    Fucked if you do, fucked if you don't and double fucked no matter what. I certainly don't want to comment on a chain of events that are far from clear (at least to me) and the subject of multiple ongoing investigations, but 20/20 hindsight is a damn fine thing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    2 years ago Christchurch was New Zealands murder capital. Most seemed to be street prostitution and therefore drug related.

    As a journalist that used to work in Chc and covered a few of the murder trials that occurred there I can assure you the above statement is a an overgeneralisation.

    Just going off the top off my head there were three homicides withing about an 18 month period that had connections to the sex industry. Most were due to other causes - mainly where the victim and the accused were known to each other.

    Anyway I just wanted to point out the prostitution linked deaths were the exception not the rule. Though they did get a lot of publicity because of their nature.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The fact that the police may be wonderful people doing a difficult job is neither here nor there. The issue is that they are useless. They need to either shit or get off the pot. Sure, an officer might have to make the calculation that his/her pay doesn't cover the risk of entering premises where there may still be a gunman as well as a dying man, but there would have been many people on the scene, relatives of the victim, who would have made the calculation differently.

    I'm sorry Phil, that's nonsense.

    The primary role of the police when there is an armed offender about is the apprehension of the offender to ensure the safety of the public. The police arrive on the scene with no knowledge of whether the offender has left the area, or if they are still around. In this situation hindsight probably says that it was just a robbery with an insane shooting, and the person has left, but for all they knew at the time it is another Aramoana and the gunman could be about to shoot more people.

    The last thing they need is more people entering the area, messing up a crime scene, and putting more potential targets, and more unknowns that could be the offenders in the way. David Gray took shots at people who were trying to help his earlier victims. If that had happened we'd all be rightly asking why a civilian was allowed to enter such a dangerous place.

    To say that the police aren't paid enough to rush in is nonsense. This is an offender that has used a firearm in cold blood, and if cornered by police, might possibly do so again. There is no way unarmed police should be entering that situation - it is rightly the domain of the AOS.

    That's really crap for the dying victim and his family. But no one moved victims of Aramoana until it was safe to do so. And Sergeant Guthrie who went into the village by himself, with a firearm, was shot by David Gray and became another victim. And you better believe that every police officer thinks about that risk every time they got to an incident with an armed offender, their next pay packet is the last thing on their mind.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The irony there being that Willie Apirana's story was one of the most heavily managed in recent memory.

    Sure, and I did find that doco ever so slightly queasy-making. But having said that, I did love how terse the man himself was. Paris Hilton with a mo' he wasn't, and I found that utterly endearing. All too often, I don't think the Police (or senior management, to be precise) really do themselves any favours. The Police Association -- and Greg O'Connor in particular -- sure don't. Sometimes the best 'media strategy' is to just get the facts out there, calmly rebut outright bullshit, and don't SPIN.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Point one: 2 years ago Christchurch was the murder capital of NZ (I think 8)

    Point two: Any industry/trade connection was the sex industry (as the PM has called to limit retailing), specifically Street Prostitution made up 3.

    Point three: Sikh religious belief allows re-marriage for widows http://www.stuff.co.nz/4582193a11.html

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The Police Association -- and Greg O'Connor in particular -- sure don't.

    I'm sure there's an interesting story to be told about his career and the internal politics in this organisation - which we don't see unlike other unions.

    Most of the time when he appears in the media I just want to smack him around the head these days. Talk about a one-track line, completely inflexible.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    In regards the call to clamp down on the proliferation of liquor outlets, I for one am all in favour of it. The easiest way to stop head on collisions is to take away the circumstances that allow it, i.e. put in a median barrier. The easiest way to stop drinking is to reduce the number of outlets and restrict opening hours. No ifs. No buts. No matter what the drug, people generally stop when they run out. That is how it works in the real world. If we were serious about reducing alcohol related crime we would ban discounting, supermarket sales and hole in the wall liquor outlets and tightly wholesale liquor hours. Of course that won't happen, because it'll run into a bone headed dogmatism about "my right to get a bottle of merlot at 4am if I wish" and a chorus of die in the ditch opposition from the alcohol pushers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

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