Party leaders saying little on gun law reform

by Gia Garrick / 19 March, 2019
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Photo/Getty.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Photo/Getty.

Governing parties are giving no clues on how the country's gun laws will change following Friday's terror attack in Christchurch.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced little more than 12 hours after the attacks that there would be change, but it will be up to 10 days before the country knows how far the government will go.

A Cabinet meeting ran over by at least an hour yesterday but coalition parties insist they are united and that a provisional call has been made.

"We are of one mind. We are absolutely united as a Cabinet, Ms Ardern.

"This was a Cabinet decision and that is your total answer," New Zealand First leader Winston Peters added.

Mr Peters had only a little more to say on the matter, before refusing further interviews.

"After 1pm on 15 March our world changed forever. And so will some of our laws."

Green Party referred for the second time to previous policy on gun reform.

ACT's David Seymour is pleased to see the government taking the time to get all of the information it needs.

"I think it's clear that gun laws will change in some way," he said. But without knowing how the attack was able to be carried out it was it was very difficult to say exactly how to improve the laws to prevent it happening again.

National Party leader Simon Bridges also refused to comment, with a spokesperson saying nothing new had happened so they were not sure what they were meant to comment on.

The government yesterday announced an inquiry into five government agencies, and their actions leading up to and during Friday's event, which could be on the scale of a Royal Commission.

Ms Ardern said it would cover the country's two spying agencies, the SIS and the GCSB, as well as police, customs and immigration.

"The purpose of this inquiry is to look at what all relevant agencies knew, or could or should have known, about the individual and his activities, including his access to weapons and if they could have been in a position to prevent the attack," she said.

It will also look at whether there were any impediments to sharing information, such as legislative or intelligence sharing challenges, she said.

Ms Ardern has not confirmed what sort of inquiry it will be, but said there were three options: a public inquiry, a ministerial inquiry or a royal commission.

Mr Seymour said it must be a full-scale royal commission.

"There is no way that this tragedy could warrant anything less than a royal commission with independent commissioners reporting to the Governor-General rather than the government of the day.

"Because whether we like it or not there are serious questions round the way that government agencies have performed."

Ms Ardern said she plans to announce the government's gun law changes by this time next week.

The terms of reference for the planned inquiry were being drawn up, she said, and would be released once the government had decided on which type of inquiry and who would lead it.

This was first published on Radio NZ.

Latest

The drama and the trauma behind NZ musician Shayne Carter's rise to the top
107207 2019-06-15 00:00:00Z Music

The drama and the trauma behind NZ musician Shayne…

by Mike White

Shayne Carter’s career has been wild and acclaimed. But his just-released memoir reveals the drama and trauma going on behind the scenes.

Read more
Rare photos of the Straitjacket Fits by Brian Murphy
The Handmaid's Tale is so chilling, you risk hypothermia
107150 2019-06-15 00:00:00Z Television

The Handmaid's Tale is so chilling, you risk hypot…

by Diana Wichtel

Season three of The Handmaid’s Tale packs a punch, despite some implausible scenes, writes Diana Wichtel.

Read more
Christchurch mosque attacks: Accused pleads not guilty to all charges
107204 2019-06-14 00:00:00Z Crime

Christchurch mosque attacks: Accused pleads not gu…

by Anneke Smith

The man accused of the Christchurch terror attacks has pleaded not guilty to all the charges laid against him.

Read more
One thing is certain: Political biffo is unavoidable in NZ Parliament
107183 2019-06-14 00:00:00Z Politics

One thing is certain: Political biffo is unavoidab…

by Bevan Rapson

Despite overdue efforts to improve Parliament's culture, political biffo will always be with us.

Read more
The sweeping proposal to lower speed limits is on the skids – it's a good thing
107144 2019-06-14 00:00:00Z Social issues

The sweeping proposal to lower speed limits is on…

by The Listener

Transport officials’ enthusiasm for a sweeping lowering of speed limits looks set to go the way of the once-proposed ban on cats in dairies.

Read more
Are New Zealand's intelligence agencies watching the right people?
107185 2019-06-14 00:00:00Z Social issues

Are New Zealand's intelligence agencies watching t…

by Phil Pennington

New Zealanders who feel they've done nothing wrong have found themselves under surveillance by the state and say they've been left nervous.

Read more
Never Look Away: A flawed masterpiece about life in WWII-era Germany
107122 2019-06-14 00:00:00Z Movies

Never Look Away: A flawed masterpiece about life i…

by James Robins

Epic drama captures an artist navigating the upheavals of Nazi and post-war Germany.

Read more