'Soft' govt blamed for escalating gun violence in NZ

Leah Panapa 09/11/2021

LISTEN: There is growing concern about New Zealand's escalating gun crime following a recent shooting that killed a Christchurch teenager.

A 32-year-old man has been charged with murder over the death of 16-year-old Connor Whitehead, who was attending a party in the suburb of Casebrook on Friday evening.

The man was taken into custody at a Burnside property on Sunday after a three-hour standoff with armed police. Officers used a chainsaw to get access into the roof of the house but it's understood he was found elsewhere at the address.

He is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court today.

Almost every week a shooting is being reported in New Zealand. Last week a man was also shot dead on a driveway in Auckland's New Lynn.

"Gun violence is on the rise," says ACT Party MP Nicole McKee, who is also a gun lobbyist.

McKee puts it down to "rushed legislation" that has targetted the wrong people.

"What we have is a Government that has been so soft on crime that gangs and people with illegal firearms run roughshod over everybody and everything and take control," she told Magic Talk.

That needs to stop.

However, McKee says guns aren't the problem. 

"It's the people that have the guns. And that's why it's so important to make sure that those people are fit and proper people," she said.

After the horrific March 15 terror attacks in Christchurch, the Government started to look at the flaws in New Zealand's gun legislation.

"The terrorist took advantage of the loopholes in our law but the crackdown came upon the people who were already abiding by the law, not the ones who were doing heinous events," McKee explained.

She says our gun laws "still need changes" but they need to be focused on the right issues.

"The reality of it is people are feeling unsafe and they're worried."

Listen to the full interview with Nicole McKee above.

Magic Talk | Mornings with Leah Panapa, weekdays from 9am

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