Oh look….. More back room dealing.
What is the ‘Multi-Agency Firearms Working Group’?
From a 21 Dec 2016 Briefing to the incoming Minister of Police Hon. Paula Bennett:
“A National Multi-Agency Firearms Working Group including Police, New Zealand Customs Service, Department of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was initiated in November 2015. The Group is developing policies and practices to promote compliance with the purpose of the Arms Act 1983, thereby promoting the safe use and control of firearms and other weapons. This work is likely to generate significant commentary within the firearms community”.
The Police Minister was then to be briefed in February 2017, on the progress of this work.
We Need to Know More
For starters… What was expected to cause such a fuss in our community?
What the hell was / is planned?
The Kiwi Gun Blog has now written to the Ministers responsible for every department represented on the group. We asked to know the following in an Official Information Act Request:
1. What was the specific purpose necessitating this group being formed?
2. What ‘policies and practices’ have so far been developed or suggested?
3. To have a public release of the February briefing.
4. Who is involved in this group. Including advisors and those who may have consulted?
5. Has anyone from the NZ firearms community been invited to participate?
6. What part of the group’s work was expected to generate such ‘commentary within the firearms community”?
7. Did this group have any contact with the Law and Order committee investigating the criminal misuse of guns?
8. Is this group still working?
9. Is the group working to align New Zealand with other international gun laws?
10. Is there any other group or person involved?
Stay tuned for their response.
The Blog also wrote to the previous Police Minister, Judith Collins, about this group’s work for the year under her management.
You may wish to add your voices to our request:
Paula Bennett – Police Minister: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicky Wagner – Customs Minister: Nicky.Wagner@parliament.govt.nz
Murray McCully – Foreign Affairs: email@example.com
Peter Dunne – Minister Internal Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judith Collins – Past Police Minister: email@example.com
The inclusion of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is of greatest concern.
That has United Nations compliance written all over it.
Lets make our own laws shall we?
On 4/26/2017 the Blog heard back from Jessica Stott, Peter Dunne’s Ministerial Secretary:
“As the matter you raise falls within the responsibility of the Minister of Police , it has been directly transferred to the Commissioner of the New Zealand Police for consideration”.
The Kiwi Gun Blog wrote back to point out that this was a multi agency group – Including Internal Affairs.
How can the Police speak for their department? We asked again to have the minister respond to our concerns.
On 4/26/2017 the blog also heard from Daniel Riordan-Edmonds, Private Secretary for Judith Collins:
The information you have requested is not held by this office, but is likely to be held by the New Zealand Police.
Therefore I am transferring your request under section 14(b)(i) of the Official Information Act 1982 the New Zealand Police for their consideration.
In regards to your second question, as Minister Collins no longer holds the Police portfolio this office no longer holds the information.
The Blog wrote back to express our concern at the Ministers memory vanishing with her post and made clear our sincere hope that she can still recognize friends and family.
On 4/26/2017 we heard from Jess van Haarlem, Private Secretary to Paula Bennett, Minister of Police:
The information you have requested is more closely connected with the functions of the New Zealand Police. Accordingly, under section 14(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act 1982, I am transferring this request to the Commissioner of the New Zealand Police for response.
Thank you for taking the time to write.
On 5/1/2017 Paul Emley, the Private Secretary to Nicky Wagner, Minister of Customs, sent us a letter from Beryl Bright, Senior Private Secretary.
“… your request has been transferred to the Commissioner of NZ Police for a response”.
The Kiwi Gun Blog again wrote back to insist that the service speak for itself.
That is nearly the set.
We are just waiting to hear from the Minister of Foreign Affairs
So ‘A National Multi-Agency Firearms Working Group’ – that consists of at least four known ministries – in unable to speak about it’s purpose or workings. It can only refer to the Police?
This is not acceptable.