Gisborne New Zealand Police
When I was a student at the Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne New Zealand, I witnessed a
Gisborne New Zealand Police officer carry a full length side by side shotgun through the public
corridors of the Polytechnic. This same officer shortly thereafter joined my business communications class part way through the semester.
I complained to The Hon Annette King, Minister of New Zealand Police and she referred this matter to the New Zealand Police Complaints Authority and to the Commissioner of Police.
I have many letters from the New Zealand Police Complaints Authority. On one occasion I took the time to phone the Police Complaints Authority. The female representative that I spoke to was rude and offensive
and she made reference to another unrelated incident.
Inspector Waata Shepherd of Gisborne Police carried out what he called a thorough investigation that took approx 2 years. In that time he did not request the class role of my business communications class from the
Tairawhiti Polytechnic. Doing that would have positively identified the officer who carried the shotgun through the public corridors of Tairawhiti Polytechnic.
After 2 years of investigation, Inspector Waata Shepherd indicated that it was the Gisborne Crime Prevention officer who often gave lectures at the Polytechnic on crime prevention. But the Crime
Prevention Officer said he never attended any classes at the Polytechnic other than giving lectures. He said he had occasion to carry firearms through the Polytechnic but he said it would have been a
sawn off shotgun carried in a bag or satchel.
So Inspector Waata Shepherd of Gisborne Police failed to identify the actual officer who joined my business communication class part way through the semester. The same officer I saw carrying a shotgun through the
public corridors of Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne.
It is interesting to note that Inspector Waata Shepherd found it necessary to call me late one night at our residential property and he was quite intimidating.
Any other person found to be carrying a shotgun through the public corridors of an education facility would most likely have been shot in the head. When ordinary citizens such as farmers are found
to be carrying firearms in an inappropriate manner they go before the district court and their firearms licenses may be suspended. When a prominent Maori activist is seen to use a firearm in public in
an inappropriate manner he has his day in Court.
I complained to Justice Goddard of the Police Complaints Authority. Justice Goddard refuses to interview this Police officer and thereby establish if he had a lawful purpose for carrying a shotgun
through the public corridors of the Tairawhiti Polytechnic.
Justice Goddard is saying that there is no reason to identify the officer in question because the law provides police with the authority to posses and carry firearms in the execution of their duty.
The law also provides police authority to exceed the lawful speed limit in the execution of their duty. Yet when the Prime Ministers motorcade went careening through the streets of Wellington on
their way to a sporting event, the officers driving in that motorcade were required to demonstrate before the courts that they were in the execution of their duty and not simply joy riding through the
streets of the capital.
There were no armed offenders incidents at the Polytechic that required the Gisborne Police to brandish firearms in the public corridors of Tairawhiti Polytechnic.
Tairawhiti Polytechic keep extensive records of all classes, they keep records of the students who attended those classes and they record who gave the lectures.
We know the officer can be identified. We know we can show if that officer had a bonafide reason for carrying a firearm in the manner that he did.
Justice Goddard is I think suggesting that a shotgun is something akin to a pogo stick.
Here is my response to Justice Goddard
The officer in question should have been authorized to carry a firearm through the Polytechnic by his superiors. He should have logged that firearm out of the Gisborne Police armoury. There should
be records and a paper trail.
Yet the Gisborne Police and the Police Complaints Authority refuse to identify the officer, they refuse to question the officer or to establish if he followed proper procedures in this matter.
I must say however that three years after the investigation began I received the following letter dated March 2007. I asked Waata Shepherd to get the class role from the Polytechnic several years
ago. The Polytechnic told me they cannot release the class role to me a private citizen. They can only release that information to the Police when the Police quote the relevant legislation for
obtaining that information. The Police know that, yet here they are three years later asking me to provide them with the names of the students who attended the business communications class. This
tells me the Police have made no effort to identify the actual officer that I complained about.
Instead, Inspector Waata Shepherd of Gisborne Police said the Crime Prevention Officer was the person who carried a firearm through the Polytechnic. He knew the crime prevention officer never
attended my business communications class. Yet after three years investigation he has sent a letter to the Police Complaints Authority stating that it was the Crime Prevention Officer and he was
giving bonafide lectures at the Polytechnic.
I do not understand how this does not constitute obstruction of justice. Judge IA Borrin and Crown Minister the Hon Annette King, Minister of Police have asked the Gisborne Police to investigate
this matter. After a lengthy investigation Inspector Waata Shepherd presents one officer to the Police complaints authority knowing that he wasn't the officer that I complained about.
Why does Crown Minister, The Hon Annette King, allow her Police officers to parade Willy Nilly through the public corridors of our education facilities brandishing firearms without being able to
show a lawful purpose?
I suppose this is how they plan their day. "Well boys, how about we grab a few guns, go for a parade through the local kindergarten, after lunch, he he, we might parade through Woolworths with a
bazooka, and then to cap off the day we will go waltzing through an old folks home with an m60 machine gun. No authorization, he he, no permits, no instruction from the superiors, he he." Don't need
to sign the guns out of the armoury. Don't worry about the Complaints Authority boys, those guys couldn't investigate diddly squat, he he".
You don't need to bully our students Gisborne Police. Bullying is the act of a gutless, spineless yellow coward. There is nothing we dislike more than someone who would bully children or
defenceless students. I accuse the Gisborne Police of using firearms for the purpose of intimidation. A spineless cowardly act.
On TV we see Police drama shows such as "The Bill" and we hear stories about corrupt Police officers and it makes for an interesting storyline. We hear the story about one honest Policeman standing
up against the "wall of silence" that protects these crooked cops. We think to ourselves well haha that can't happen here.
In New Zealand we expect a transparent process of checks and balances that prevents these nefarious activities from occurring. Surely any common citizen should be able to contact an independent
body to lay a valid complaint about any public servant who is seen to behave in an inappropriate manner.
I fail to see what can be more inappropriate than parading through an education facility brandishing a firearm without a lawful and proper reason to do so.
The whole justice system depends on confidence in the Police and the Judiciary. Any person should be able to make a complaint and they should expect that complaint to be answered. I have made a
very serious complaint of Police misconduct and Waata Shepherd refuses to identify the officer that I complained about.
In the past, there have been accusations on TV that Police have lied in Court and have fabricated evidence. These are matters for the Police complaints Authority. The Police Complaints Authority
have demonstrated to me that they are not the independent unbiased body they are made out to be. It is quite farcical in fact.
When you tell just a little lie in can become a habit. Once you get in the habit of lying it becomes very easy to just slip in another little lie, and then well perhaps a slightly bigger lie. I
think you know where I am going with this.
We rely on the evidence presented by Police. We expect it to be factual and we expect it to be presented in a timely manner. If for example the Police complaints authority instruct Gisborne Police
to investigate why a Police officer carried a shotgun through Tairawhiti Polytechnic then we expect the investigation to be carried out in a timely manner. Three years later I have not had a
satisfactory answer to my complaint.
If it can be shown that Police are presenting the wrong facts then this would call into question every case that has been put before the courts by those concerned.
The Hon Annette King Minister of Police
I have one thing to ask The Hon Annette King Minister of Police. Can you please demonstrate that the Police officer I complained about had a lawful reason for carrying a shotgun through Tairawhiti
Polytechnic. Is that too much to ask?
Transparency in the process of law and order. Surely your Ministry must promote this fundamental concept.
Three years later I'm still waiting...........
I spoke to Waata Shepherd 17 April 2008 regarding this matter and I said to him that I haven't had a satisfactory answer.