The model of TASER that New Zealand Police has been using for more than a decade will soon no longer be produced and Police will replace the TASER with a newer model over the next three years.
Deputy Commissioner Tania Kura says replacing the fleet is an important part of equipping officers to keep themselves and our communities safe.
“TASERs have been used as a prevention tool by New Zealand Police since their introduction in 2010,” Deputy Commissioner Kura says.
“Our officers can consistently rely on them to de-escalate violent behaviour.
“They are an effective less-lethal tactical alternative to a firearm and help achieve safer outcomes for Police and communities.
“In 82% of incidents where a TASER is presented – the presentation alone without discharging is enough for the situation to be successfully de-escalated.
“With our current TASER fleet nearing its end of life and components of the model we use no longer being manufactured, we need to ensure our staff have the best tools available to them to keep themselves, and our communities, safe.
“While our current TASER has a built-in camera – the new model does not.
“New TASER devices are not manufactured with a built-in camera – most other jurisdictions rely on body worn cameras to record TASER use.
“New Zealand Police does not currently use body worn cameras.
“The wider question of whether body worn cameras is appropriate for the New Zealand policing environment, and what that might look like, is being considered separately.
“It’s a decision that will need to be taken carefully with the right legal consideration as well as engagement with communities and Police staff.
“We’ll continue to be transparent and accountable for TASER use, both locally and nationally, through ongoing review of Tactical Options Reports, technical meta-data on presentation or use of TASER, debriefs and monitoring by the TASER Assurance Forum.
“We’re also strengthening accountability through our external reference group to provide community assurance and transparency over our use of tactical options, including TASER.”
The reference group will have representatives from across the community.
“The new TASER will be rolled out to all Police Districts over the next three years beginning in the South Island in early 2024,” Deputy Commissioner Kura says.