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RECENT NEWS

Wellington-based Radio New Zealand rural journalist, Alexa Cook, has won the inaugural Rural Women New Zealand Rural Connectivity Award at the 2017 awards of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators.

The Rural Connectivity Award was initiated by Rural Women New Zealand to recognise the importance of connectivity to rural communities and agri-businesses.

Alexa also won the supreme award, the Ministry for Primary Industries Rongo Award, for her excellence in agricultural journalism. Her coverage of a week-long muster in Muzzle Station, the first after the Kāikoura earthquake, won her several awards after her articles featured on Morning Report, Checkpoint, Insight programmes, and on the RNZ website.

Congratulations to Sally Rae of the Otago Daily Times who received the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award for her articles that delivered important messages. The stories about rural women in action in the community were well-written, inspiring and supported by good photography.

At the Beef + Lamb NZ Awards Dinner on Friday 13 October, a total of ten awards were presented, nine for journalism and one for photography.

Other award winners on the night were:

  • The AgResearch Science Writers Award, established to enhance standards of science writing, especially about pastoral agriculture, was won by Alexa Cook and Carol Stiles.
  • The Federated Farmers Broadcast Journalism Award was won jointly by Carol Stiles and Alexa Cook
  • The DairyNZ Dairy Industry Award which recognises the ability to communicate the complexities of the dairy industry, was won by Jackie Harrigan for articles in The Dairy Exporter.
  • The inaugural Zespri Export Journalism Award, which recognises the vital importance of exports to the New Zealand economy, was won by Fairfax Media’s Gerard Hutching.
  • The Alliance Group Ltd Red Meat Industry Journalism Award, which focuses on all aspects of the red meat industry was won by Alexa Cook, of RNZ Rural News
  • The Beef + Lamb New Zealand News Award, which recognises excellence in hard news journalism, focusing on any aspect of the beef and sheep industry, was won by Nigel Stirling for articles in Farmers Weekly and NZX Agri’s Pulse, both on trade talks.
  • The Federated Farmers Rural Photography Award was won by Des Williams, for a photo which appeared in Shearing magazine.
  • The Guild award – the Agricultural Journalism Encouragement Award – is designed to encourage and recognise excellence among journalists with three or less years reporting on agricultural issues. This year, it was won by Brittany Pickett, of Invercargill, for articles which appeared in the NZ Farmer.

For further quotes please contact:
Fiona Gower
National President
Rural Women New Zealand
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 027 428 3884

 

RWNZ Journalism Award winners 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Wellington-based Radio New Zealand rural journalist, Alexa Cook, has won the inaugural Rural Women New Zealand Rural Connectivity Award at the 2017 awards of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is proud to announce the finalists for the Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2017. Four finalists are vying for the Supreme Enterprising Rural Women Award, which will be revealed on Saturday 18 November at the RWNZ National Conference at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill.

This year’s awards are supported by industry partners: Agrisea New Zealand, NZI and SWAZI New Zealand. Pictured are the judging panel for the awards, left to right, Donna Williams, NZI GM Customer Experience and Marketing;  Fiona Gower, RWNZ National President; Jill Bradley, Director Agrisea New Zealand and Warwick Bean, Sales Manager SWAZI New Zealand.
Read more here

Finalists for Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is proud to announce the finalists for the Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2017. Four finalists are vying for the Supreme Enterprising Rural Women Award, which will be revealed on Saturday 18 November at the RWNZ National Conference at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill. Read More

 Melva Robb and Glenda Robb are sisters who are very active members of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) Marlborough Provincial. Marlborough Mayor John Leggett has awarded Civic Honours to the sisters, along with three other Marlborough residents.

Mr Leggett says the honours are an opportunity to recognise members of the community who give outstanding service to others.

“The recipients use their skills and energy and give their time and talents to a myriad of organisations and causes. They are serving us all by contributing to the greater good and each deserves our grateful thanks,” he said.

Severe earthquakes hit on 14 November 2016 affecting rural people in North Canterbury, Kaikōura and South Marlborough. Melva and Glenda spearheaded delivery of relief supplies to remote rural families.They teamed up with the local Rural Support Trust and Federated Farmers, to contact as many residents as they could to assess what was needed other than food.

“Melva and Glenda’s personal compassion which comes with a loving dollop of practical help, alleviated the sense of isolation and trauma families were experiencing from the Clarence to South Marlborough and the Awatere Valley,” says RWNZ Marlborough member Barbara Stuart. “They took the crisis seriously and did everything in their power to help.”

Glenda and Melva appealed to RWNZ members and the wider community for donations of crockery and dinner sets. They prepared 100 gift baskets of baking, chocolates and soft toys for children and managed to get supplies onto transport that was headed to isolated areas. They even sent a gift basket via helicopter for a family with a new-born baby, who were isolated at the top of the Awatere Valley.

 

The other honours recipients this year are Ross Beech, a farmer-environmentalist and a member of the South Marlborough Landscape Restoration Trust; Jim Thomas, a Lions Club member with a record of service to sport and who has a key role in the local Victim Support service, and Henny Vervaart, a Rotary Club member, Red Cross meals-on-wheels volunteer and a valued part of the Alzheimers Marlborough organisation.

Ends


 

 

Civic Award for Melva Robb and Glenda Robb

Monday, October 09, 2017

 Melva Robb and Glenda Robb are sisters who are very active members of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) Marlborough Provincial. Marlborough Mayor John Leggett has awarded Civic Honours to the sisters, along with three other Marlborough residents. Read More

A new education scholarship offered by North Canterbury Rural Women New Zealand member, Beverley Forrester has been awarded to physiotherapy student, Travis Henderson from Te Awamutu.

The $1000 scholarship will contribute towards course costs for Travis to complete a physiotherapy degree at the University of Otago. Travis is in his third year and intends to use the degree to work in rural healthcare.

“Growing up in a family with strong rural connections has given me first hand experience of rural healthcare services,” says Travis. “Once I have finished my degree, I hope to establish a physiotherapy practice in a rural area, with the focus on making healthcare more accessible and affordable for the rural population.”

Royalties from sales of Beverley Forrester’s book ‘The Farm at Black Hills’ will fund the scholarship. The book is about Beverley's farm and her international fashion brand, which uses wool produced by the corriedale and romney sheep bred on her hill country farm. The fashion garments have featured on the catwalk in New Zealand and overseas.

Beverley reviewed the scholarship applications and says Travis’ application stood out, as she herself is a qualified Occupational Therapist. “When I did my training, I thought that three years of training and a two-year bond was a lifetime, little knowing that 36 years later I would still be practicing. I wish Travis well on his chosen profession and congratulate him on his success in attaining this scholarship.”

Two $1000 scholarships are still on offer for applicants undertaking tertiary study in 2018 (criteria apply). Click here to download an entry form. Applications close 28 February 2018.

 

Beverley Forrester Scholarship

Friday, September 29, 2017

A new education scholarship offered by North Canterbury Rural Women New Zealand member, Beverley Forrester has been awarded to physiotherapy student, Travis Henderson from Te Awamutu. Read More

MINUTES : Firearms Community Advisory Forum
SUBJECT Firearms Community Advisory Forum
DATE Wednesday 16 August 2017
TIME 0930 - 1230
VENUE Upper Hutt Police Station, 863 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt
ATTENDEES
CATHERINE PETREY, GEOFF DUNN, ROB NGAMOKI, RAY VINE, KIRSTY MARSHALL, PAUL CLARK, HELEN MORGAN, NICOLE MCKEE, JOHN HERBERT, ANDREW EDGCOMBE, DEBBIE WAKKER, JOHN HOWAT, TRENT SMITH, PETER NOBLE, SANDRA LOW, PAUL GATLAND, MIKE MCILRAITH, ADAM SMITH, BILL O’LEARY, EWAN KELSALL, JOE GREEN
APOLOGIES
RACHAEL DEAN, MIKE DAISLEY, TREVOR PULLEN
Item 1 – Welcome and introduction and Safety and Evacuation Procedure
The Chair welcomed the Forum’s members. Everyone was advised of safety procedures, evacuation protocol and restated Chatham House Rules to support the free flow of comment.
A one page document was handed out for everyone containing the Chatham House Rules; the expectation that any member who has a legal challenge against Police will leave the room when that subject is discussed; and applying confidentiality to some information shared in the Forum meetings.
The Chair offered to members some statistics on firearm seizures that had been released under an OIA request.
A round table introduction sessions was undertaken due to new faces at the table.
Item 2 – Confirm previous Minutes and Update Action Points
PREVIOUS MINUTES: confirmed
ACTIONS FROM APRIL MEETING
ASSIGNED TO
COMPLETED DATE
POLICE TO PROVIDE THE FORUM WITH MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF RESTRICTED FIREARMS SEIZED BY THE POLICE, NOTING THAT THIS INFORMATION WOULD BE LIMITED TO WHAT IS KNOWN AT THE WELLINGTON ARMOURY AND WOULD NOT PROVIDE A COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL PICTURE OF RESTRICTED FIREARMS SEIZED
POLICE
COMPLETED AT 16 AUGUST MEETING
AGREE THAT 7 DECEMBER 2017 BE AN ALL-DAY FCAF MEETING
FCAF/POLICE
AGREED
*POLICE TO PROVIDE GREATER TRANSPARENCY OF VISITOR PERMIT PROCESS, AND WILL NOTE FLAGGED ISSUES.
POLICE
ONGOING
A SUBCOMMITTEE TO WORKSHOP THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO ISSUES RELATING TO THE
POLICE
COMPLETED
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* There was a question in relation to visitors wanting to use E Category firearms in New Zealand. It was conveyed that a directive has been given to look at a workable solution. An FCAF member stated they will provide a high level summary with security measures and options.
Action Point: Report back on progress of visitors permits by Police
Item 3 – Arms Trade Treaty update
Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) have completed the second Annual Report on exports and imports of firearms in accordance with the ATT. This can be found on the MFAT website. It was noted that there is work to be done around Police collection of import figures, a work in progress.
The Brokering (Weapons and Related Items) Controls Bill has started the parliamentary process – it had its first reading in the House on the 15th August and was referred to Select Committee. It will now be after 23rd September 2017 Election before anything further is done and it is some way off becoming an Act. A question was asked about goods that are transhipped? The answer was that this was not brokering and was covered by NZ law on importing and exporting.
Item 4– Subcommittee firearms storage
The first meeting has been held and minutes were being circulated to subcommittee members (to date not all members had had the opportunity to review them). The next meeting is to be 15 September 2017.
Many ideas and issues had been discussed at the first meeting including having an easier document with tidier categories, requirements for E Category safes and best handling and issues around those whose safes had been approved in the past and which were not considered adequate now. There was mention that there was ‘noise’ around couriering of firearms, carriage on ferries and in campervans. The subcommittee will look at security in these situations also.
A question was asked, should the number of firearms someone has make a difference to the level of security needed to match the level of risk? It was mentioned that Arms Officers have difficulty with measuring thickness and are inconsistent in application of ‘rules’; this requires an easy guide for them to ensure the same standards are applied across New Zealand. Further discussion was had around thickness <6mm vs >6mm. It was suggested that the measure should be based on the product and not only on the thickness. It was asked that if an angle grinder was used to cut them could we work out some measurements to make it much harder or would this just be based on what people felt to be the case?
It was asked if there were figures on the number of safes not approved now that were in the past. There are no figures on this.
ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS. TO TAKE PLACE ON 3 MAY
FIREARMS SAFETY COUNCIL OF AOTEAROA FOLLOW UP OF MEMBERSHIP
POLICE
COMPLETED
REPRESENTATIVES’ ATTENDANCE AT FORUM INVOLVED IN LITIGATION WITH POLICE: RULES GOVERNING THIS
FACAF/POLICE
AGREED AND COMPLETED
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FIREARMS STORAGE TO MEET
POLICE
FIRST MEETING COMPLETED SECOND MEETING 15 SEPTEMBER 2
Firearm security is always going to be about stopping the opportunistic thief; someone who is ‘targeting’ firearms will have established best times to ‘hit’ and if intent on thief will work out a method regardless. Best to be done in this case is to make it harder for them.
A member asked why vettors are in some cases rejecting previously approved safes when the policy around safes had not yet been finalised? In the interim – PNHQ will answer any questions regarding any confusion in the application of rules around safes. This may mean that the outcome changes but equally it may not. Police accepts that the application of standards needs clarity and consistency.
Action Point: Their needs to be identification of what safes are specifically causing the problems and how many. To be done by the Security Sub Committee.
Item 5 – Changed from Item 9: Police Armoury Statistics
A sample of statistics for seizures of firearms that were sent to the Police Armoury for examination purposes was circulated for review by members. Other Police seizure statistics cover a wider group of firearms seized with and without warrant and include seized and returned firearms, and those not needed to be examined (although not surrendered firearms).
A couple of case examples were discussed:
1. A case where 60 firearms had been purchased in the preceding 12 months and A category parts had been used to construct E Cat firearms. Police asked the supplier if they had become at all suspicious about the purchases, they said no.
2. Two undercover police officers posed as offering to purchase two fully automatic firearms. The person who was to sell them was charged, although has now got their licence back.
FCAF member noted that these type of people give the majority of ‘fit and proper’ people a bad name and cause restrictive rules for all.
Discussion took place on the frequency of Arms Officer visits to dealerships and clubs and that there are differences in each police district.
There was a discussion around Webley revolvers and post war family inherited firearms that used to be able to be bought without a licence. There are many in the community already and not everyone is likely to have handed these in when the rules changed.
Action Point: Police to put the options for surrendering ‘grey’ firearms on their website: these are either to hand in at a police station, but phone first or to a Dealer to pass onto Police.
There was a question asking if ‘pistols’ in Police armoury seizure statistics included sawn off firearms that are under 762mm. The Police response was that in all likelihood the firearms would be entered as sawn offs, not pistols. It was stated that there is an issue if ‘sawn offs are being classified as pistols.
MSSAs were also discussed. Police pointed out that A Cat firearms seized with high capacity mags were automatically MSSAs, although there are other MSSA features such as pistol grips, flash suppressor etc. Police reaffirmed that firearms are classified as they are seized.
Action Point: Can Police supply the figures for seizures of firearms without warrant under section 18 of the Search and Surveillance Act. Police.
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Discussion was had that it is useful to look at the percentage of MSSAs seized compared to what is ‘out there’. Some committee members felt that MSSAs are under scrutiny at present due to high profile incidents (recent Whangarei homicide and Morrinsville shooting). Police confirmed they supplied data to Select Committee on previous years data. A question was asked regarding how many are smuggled over the border. Simple answer is it is impossible to know. Customs is happy to receive any information that will help target this type of smuggling. There is always potential, however, it is likely there would be more evidence of illegal importation if this was more prolific. The borders are also monitored by MPI (physical searches) and Police.
Shared a challenge: FCAF members were invited to consider a couple of examples of firearms that Police has concerns over. The question was should these be accepted? This was a positive opportunity to share knowledge and thoughts on firearms and for FCAF to see the issues police face.
Item 6 (was item 5) – Arms Act Service Delivery Group
The change of name for the group that includes a number of workstreams relating to the management of firearms-related issues is to emphasise that it is customer focused. It will include work toward a centralised permit hub and business improvements.
Item 7 – TradeMe
Police has been working with TradeMe to improve the process for establishing the licencing process of those purchasing firearms on TradeMe.
TradeMe has completed an update to advise that all persons wishing to ask a question, bid or purchase a firearm will be asked for the name and number on their firearms licence. This will be the subject of a query to Police to search on the Police database for confirmation that the information TradeMe has is correct. Only a Yes or No answer will be received so information (other than licence currency) will be withheld.
Police would like to see this taken up by other online sellers of firearms.
Item 7b – Social Media and Organisation View
Police will not comment on what is in social media as it is often unbalanced.
We will educate and inform people by putting more information on the Police website and encourage people to ask questions.
Item 8 – Opportunities for AGMs or Similar
Police has undertaken to attend AGMs of firearms organisations and similar if invited. Mike McIlraith will attend Pistol NZ AGM on 23 September 2017.
Item 9 dealt with as Item 5
Item 10 – MSSA Parts Importation
Police need to look at importation of parts from several perspectives.
Comment from a committee member was if I am a fit and proper person and I say I am importing parts for A Cat, should that not be trusted? If not this could be a subjectively based view on what ‘might’ happen. There is a lack of trust and it is very confusing. The firearms community needs
4
consistent and timely permitting, based on accepting the stated intention of fit and proper persons to sell parts they wish to import as A Cat parts.
Someone remembered a Police Legal Opinion (maybe 2005).
Action Point: Police to follow up whether there has been previous legal advice sought.
Police position is to look at each import application on its merits. There is an issue with not knowing how parts will be used (intention).
MSSA controls were about ensuring safety and that these firearms were in the hands of fit and proper people. A comment suggested that Police should have no involvement (in import of A Cat parts) and it was Customs that should be involved when the items come in. Further comment was that the market has changed significantly and so has technology.
High capacity magazines require no licence to purchase in NZ. This is significant when it comes to people assembling MSSAs and attempts have been made to try and control these. A committee member commented that they should be restricted.
Someone asked “why are we talking about permits for parts that do not require permits at the moment?” FCAF could come up with a solution. It could mean better education. There are currently three firearms manufacturers in NZ.
The onus should rest squarely with the firearms user to ensure they comply with the current law and get correct information.
A committee member stated that the continuous shift of police personnel makes consistency very difficult. This area needs someone who has in-depth knowledge and stays. Police commented that this is the reason there is investment in ASAC project, which will include career roles. The Police Executive have recognised this area needs investment. Looking at a centralised management Hub of vetting with validation through District Arms Officers. Currently things look like they always have but the Police are looking at a number of potential changes. One possibility is that there could be graduated applicant tiers, with new licence applicants having greater scrutiny while current licence holders have a streamlined process when they renew their licence. The project is a huge undertaking and will likely take longer than we would all like. Police note that processes will work better when firearms users bring issues to Police attention. Such as when the licence number was visible in the clear view panel on the envelopes sent out. This was fixed on the same day it was brought to police attention. We will continue working together jointly to fix things.
Item 11 – Training Provider RFP
Police has extended the current training providers to 30 June 2018 in order to sort firearms training properly rather than rushing into a RFP. It was acknowledged that it is a complex area and personnel new to the role are doing their best to come up to speed and learn the ropes. Discussion and meetings are welcome.
Item 12 – Fish and Game New Zealand Membership on FCAF
Action Point: Police to correspond with FCAF members to seek feedback on membership.
Item 13 - Other Business
MSSA parts: It was noted that there has been no change in policy; but it is acknowledged that a change in process in some areas has occurred and that it was noted that an FCAF members was
5
disappointed that there was no prior consultation. It was pointed out that the police website had been updated in June with a media release on this issue. It was agreed that further consultation with FCAF members and Operations Group be undertaken.
Chamber safety devices: Agreed that Wellington District would provide tags to Whakatupato. Other Organisations can send their name to PNHQ and will be given the right to purchase the chamber safety devices (without having the cost of the mould) directly from the manufacturer.
2013 Arms Code re-write: Once this has been drafted it will be consulted with FCAF members and then a wider consultation process will be undertaken. Looking at getting a document out for consultation in October 2017.
Select Committee Inquiry into Illegal Possession of Firearms: With regard to the Committee recommendations and Government response, no further decisions will occur until after the election.
It was noted that the Armourer does not classify firearms on the request from public, these need to go through PNHQ.
Meeting Concluded 1250hrs.
AGREED ACTIONS:
ACTION POINTS AUGUST MEETING
ASSIGNED TO
STATUS
REPORT BACK ON PROGRESS OF VISITORS PERMITS
POLICE
IDENTIFICATION OF WHAT SAFES ARE SPECIFICALLY CAUSING A PROBLEM AND HOW MANY?
FCAF/POLICE SECURITY SUB COMMITTEE
PUT THE OPTIONS FOR SURRENDERING ‘GREY’ FIREARMS ON THE POLICE WEBSITE: EITHER TO POLICE STATION, BUT PHONE FIRST OR TO DEALER TO PASS ONTO POLICE.
POLICE
POLICE SUPPLY THE FIGURES FOR SEIZURES OF FIREARMS WITHOUT WARRANT UNDER SECTION 18 OF THE SEARCH AND SURVEILLANCE ACT.
POLICE
MSSA PARTS IMPORTATION LEGAL OPINION: POLICE TO FOLLOW UP IF THERE HAS BEEN PREVIOUS LEGAL ADVICE ON THIS.
POLICE
CHAMBER SAFETY DEVICES: WELLINGTON DISTRICT TO DISTRIBUTE THESE TO WHAKATUPATO.
POLICE
ORGANISATIONS WANTING TO PURCHASE CHAMBER SAFETY DEVICES ARE TO CONTACT POLICE AND POLICE WILL ADVISE THE MANUFACTURER THAT THOSE GROUPS CAN PURCHASE THE DEVICES DIRECTLY FROM THEM (COST OF TAGS ONLY)
FCAF TO CIRCULATE TO MEMBER ORGANISATIONS
POLICE TO CORRESPOND WITH FCAF MEMBERS TO SEEK FEEDBACK ON MEMBERSHIP
POLICE
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MINUTES : Firearms Community Advisory Forum SUBJECT Firearms Community Advisory Forum

DATE Wednesday 19 April 2017 TIME 0930 - 1230 VENUE Level 15 Conference Room 3 & 4 ATTENDEES CATHERINE PETREY, GEOFF DUNN, ROB NGAMOKI, CHRIS SCAHILL, JULIA PENNEY, RAY VINE, ALASTAIR (ROLY) WILLIAMS, CHRIS JAMIESON, RICHARD SMITH, KIRSTY MARSHALL, PAUL CLARK, HELEN MORGAN, NICOLE MCKEE, MIKE DAISLEY, JOHN HERBERT, TREVOR DYKE, ANDREW EDGCOMBE, DEBBIE WAKKER, JOHN HOWAT, RACHAEL DEAN, TRENT SMITH, PETER NOBLE APOLOGIES SANDRA KEENAN, PAUL GATLAND, MICHELLE PODMORE, DELL HIGGIE, NATHAN WATSON

 

 

Item 1 – Welcome and introduction The Chair welcomed the Forum’s members and advised them of safety procedures, evacuation protocol and restated Chatham House Rules to support the free flow of comment.

Item 2 – Confirm previous Minutes and Update Action Points The minutes from the previous meeting were confirmed.

1. Place Brokering – Arms Trade Treaty as a standing item on the agenda. Completed

2. Send Powerpoint from Poh Boey to all Forum members.

Completed. 3. Send out document on security of firearms to Forum members. Completed.

4. Forum members/Police to get information for the purchase of chamber safety tags. Completed.

5. Put link to Arms Officers on website in Minutes. Completed.

6. Police to look at adding the ability for a permit applicant to look up progress on not being able to find information and contacts. Completed.

7. Add permit statistics and relevant information to the Quarterly update. Still in progress. 8. Complete a draft Terms of Reference for the Security Subcommittee. Completed. 9. Measurement of the length of firearms issues to be looked at by Police and whether Crown Law advice necessary. Completed. 1

10. Put a link or document that outlines ‘what Police do’ currently in relation to the measurement of MSSAs and why. Completed.

11. Send the permit form link in Minutes. Completed.

12. Police to send information to Forum members covered in letter to Taylor. Completed.

13. Police to investigate the use of the term ‘Biographies’ by Arms Officers. Completed. There was some discussion on the last action point. It was noted that ‘Biographies’ is a term used by some Arms Officers relating to the requirement for detailed information in an application for importing a firearm for special reason from firearms dealers, importers and collectors. There have been a couple of instances where an Arms Officers wanted a Biography for a one-off importation; however, this is unusual. It was noted that Biographies is an incorrect term and should be more correctly described as Supporting Information for an application. A message has gone to Arms Officers to this effect. The Chair altered the original agenda so that items 5 and 6 were bumped up ahead of item 3 to fit with Supt Chris Cahill’s availability.

Item 5 – Arms Safety and Control Project Police is currently focusing on completing 3 ICT changes for the National Intelligence Application (NIA). In the meantime, critical issues in the business as usual (BAU) space need care and attention. Police wants any changes to be built on a solid foundation to prevent further systemic problems arising in the BAU. Police is devising possible short, medium and long term solutions. Police wants to make sure that its base supports future solutions. Both Police National Headquarters and Police Districts have been consulted on this issue. On the whole, Police is confident that it is getting a clearer picture of what changes are required in NIA. Preliminary thinking is to have centralised control over the permit system. This has not yet been decided. In the meantime the Project will concentrate on support for the current permit process in the first instance. A member inquired about what needs to happen before Police receives the ‘go ahead’, and that it is important to build a more comprehensive picture as soon as possible. Police advised that it could consider making a one-off bid from the Justice Sector fund. Another member advised that not everyone would be comfortable or able to use a computer-based system, and entering on line at a Police station or similar could be problematic as required information may not be readily available. While they may be a small proportion of the population they needed to be provided for. A member suggested there needed to be some rural proofing in any new system. Police acknowledged that there is not a lot more it can do to help with this issue, but noted that some electronic changes may make it easier as it will minimise the personal contact required and limit the paper-based demands. With this in mind, the Chair emphasised that the Arms Safety and Control project has short, medium and long term elements.

2 A member outlined that issues with permits and applications have improved considerably, and that they were very impressed with the turnaround – people who suffer from geographical constraints are often met with very accommodating Arms Officers. Another member outlined that rural proofing can be quite difficult, and that applications sometimes must be completed twice. It was suggested that if the application process was done at a local level perhaps this will be less of an issue. With this in mind, the member indicated that a local centralised system should be considered as part of any long term plan. It was noted that Police is confident that there is no outstanding permit application held in PNHQ greater than 30 days but recognises that there may still be some permits in Districts not yet entered into the system and some permits issued from PNHQ that have not yet reached the applicant. As advised to representatives of the Wairarapa Pistol and Shooting Sports Club, Police is advising people who have been waiting for more than 40 days to contact PNHQ and to use the email address [email protected] Police noted that based on information from the Districts, a backlog may be looming. Consequently, it is working towards a proactive system. Police wants to be ahead of the game and able to predict demand so that it can coordinate and manage responses effectively. In relation to the Law and Order Committee’s Inquiry, one member asked whether Police considered the scope of the Arms Safety and Control project capable of covering all of the Committee’s recommendations. Specifically, the member asked whether it would be capable of handling the Committee’s pseudo-registration recommendation (this may have been referring to either the voluntary recording of serial numbers or to the proposed permit to procure for A cats recommended by the Committee).

Police noted that while the serial number of A category firearms it is an additional field in the data field, it should be able to add this to its capability. A member noted that previously there had been some discussion on Arms Officers being appointed by Police National Headquarters, and asked whether this has been rejected or followed. Police outlined that there has not yet been a decision on that point. Currently Police is more concerned about whether there are enough Arms Officers currently available to provide a good service, but indicated that it will look into this proposal at a later stage. Police is working towards the consistent application of existing standards.

Training at the Police College organised by Response and Operations is the first step in this process, and recently took place. It was designed to outline the requirements for the Arms Officer job. Police captured just under half the country’s Arms Officers. Another course is scheduled for next year, and it is hoped that Arms Officers will be able to attend an annual refresher course. Police is also hoping to give arms training to arms licensing staff. Police is confident that Arms Officers have a good understanding of what is going on, including the Arms Safety and Control project. Police advised that Nicholas Taylor was invited to attend the course (and did so), so that he could understand how everything runs from Police’s side.

Item 6 – Select Committee – Inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms The Law and Order Committee published its final report on 7 April 2017 on the Parliamentary website, and it was sent out to members along with the agenda for this meeting. The Committee made 20 recommendations, which the government will then consider and provide a response to be tabled in Parliament within 60 working days. Police notes that if the government wishes to proceed with any of the recommendations, it will need to go through the full normal processes required to change legislation or regulations. 3 One of the Committee’s recommendations related to the introduction of Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs). FPOS are based on the Australian FPO regime. Basically, they prevent specified people from accessing firearms, but also ensure that they cannot reside or be in a place that stores firearms. They are also unable to use a firearm under the supervision of a firearms licence holder. Breaching a FPO would also carry a significant penalty. Police commented that it is very unlikely that firearms legislation and regulations will change before the election and that the government’s response could well suggest that more work needs to be done. A member noted that the Inquiry specifically related to the illegal possession of firearms and that its terms of reference related to how unlicensed persons come into possession of firearms. The member considered the recommendations in the report did not seem to focus on the purpose of the Inquiry. Police commented that the Committee could not fully understand how unlicensed persons come into the possession of firearms illegally because of a lack of data – the methodology from Sir Thomas Thorp’s 1997 report can only take you so far. The Committee had very little hard information on this matter and Police data has limitations. With this in mind, the member suggested that the recommendations were predominantly based on information that the Committee did not know. In particular, the member was concerned that there was going to be firearms “registration by stealth” as a result (referring to police recording the serial numbers of firearms when renewing someone’s firearms licence). They also noted the issues with data integrity. Police outlined that firearms registration involves firearms owners voluntarily giving Police a number of firearm details, including the serial number, of all their firearms. Over the years Police has not recommended universal registration of firearms. Police sees benefit in collecting better information over time but sees limited benefit in trying to register all firearms that may be in legal ownership at a single point in time. In that regard Police’s view is consistent with that of the government.

In relation to the so called ‘secret submission’ it was explained that Police, having been invited to be advisers to the Committee, was bound by the parliamentary process and parliamentary privilege. – this is fully described in Standing Orders of Parliament that is publicly available. The Committee’s deliberations were subject to parliamentary privilege, so neither Police nor Members of Parliament could comment on the Committee’s discussions until their report was tabled, at which point the Police advice and any other advice requested by the Committee became public. This is a long established practice and is one of the strengths of the Westminster parliamentary process. A member noted that firearms owners are not happy with some of the Committee’s recommendations – particularly over the sale and supply of firearms. The member also stated that he and others were disappointed in some incorrect statements that were made on Breakfast by the President of the Police Association. The member went on to say that everyone in the firearms community is worried about a lack of trust of Police, and that this probably originated with the pistol grip fiasco in 2009. Firearms owners are also worried about additional compliance obligations. Finally, the member stipulated that some of the recommendations were not necessarily made to help lawful firearms owners, but burden them. Another member noted that they have looked at similar recommendations in the past which looked more like job creation schemes. With this in mind, the member stated that since 1843 there have been hundreds of changes, but that the system will not succeed if firearms owners do not buy into 4 it.

For this reason, they suggested that it may be wise to start a new system and include firearm users during the policy development process. Police noted that it receives a number of different messages from the firearms community. The general ‘fit and proper person’ approach works well, but policy changes may be required in a number of other areas. One member noted that the current system works well, but that it would be useful to tighten aspects of the system to make sure it works consistently across the board. Another member discussed the recommendation for a new category of firearms licences for certain semi-automatics to replace the current MSSA category. It was alarming that a modified shotgun for duck hunters and .22 calibre semi-automatics (probably New Zealand’s biggest selling firearm) could fall under this criteria. The member insisted that if these firearms fell under a newly prohibited classification, there would be a surge in grey firearms. Police sympathised but outlined that the ability to convert certain A category firearms into semi-automatic weapons is becoming more and more of an issue. A member expressed concern that that semi-automatic A cats may be required to adhere to more stringent and more expensive storage requirements. This is significant, especially for someone who lives in an apartment block – how would they build a strong room in that situation? It was thought that people will just ignore the requirements and leave their firearms in the present storage arrangements. It seems easy in principle, but it is often very difficult to comply with stronger regulations. Another member noted that they agreed with three of the Committee’s recommendations, but did not list them. Further, they would be interested in working with Police on what should change. Other members agreed that it would be advantageous to discuss possible changes with Police in a formal setting. Members agreed that it would be useful to form a Subcommittee on the Select Committee’s recommendations. Police agreed to using the Subcommittee on a consultative basis to inform the advice it put through to the Minister. Police noted that any changes to regulations and/or legislation would require consultation, and this includes consultation with both sides – not just firearms owners and their representatives. There have been a significant number of Official Information Act requests relating to the seizure of firearms (roughly about 70-90 seizures per month). Based on annual figures, Police believes that approximately 10 restricted firearms are seized each month. One member asked if these were truly restricted firearms as many people could not distinguish MSSAs from A cat semi-automatics. Possible action point –Police to provide the Forum with more detailed information on the types of restricted firearms seized by the Police, noting that this information would be limited to what is known at the Wellington armoury and would not provide a comprehensive national picture of restricted firearms seized A member noted that all restricted firearms are registered, and enquired about how that would affect statistics. Police noted that when seizing firearms, police do not always enter specific firearm details, such as the type of firearm. For example, it might note that it is a restricted firearm, but officers will not necessarily specify that it is a pistol, a MSSA or whether it is a converted/modified firearm.

The member also suggested that Police should be capable of providing data on where firearms come from, at least in relation to firearms that were originally restricted (not converted into a restricted firearm). Police stated that this is a key part of the Arms Safety and Control project. With some changes, seizure data may become more comprehensive, and data quality is likely to 5 improve. The member then indicated that it would be very beneficial for seized military-style semiautomatics and restricted firearms to be given back to their lawful owner and that data should be kept on this. Noting time constraints and the availability of some members, the Chair stopped these discussions for the time being to ensure that item 3 – the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) update could take place Item 3 – Arms Trade Treaty Update It was noted that there have not been any major developments in relation to the ATT since December. Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) are working on the ATT report on the import and export of weapons1 .

The Brokering Bill is still being drafted, but there is no indicative timeframe on when it will start the parliamentary process – this depends on Cabinet decision making. However, work is actively being done on it. The Notification of exempted sporting firearms export form has been working well, and MFAT has been receiving a lot of notifications. International import certificates are now used around the world – they have universal meaning. You need the right authority to import controlled goods, like firearms or their component parts. A member noted that it is not ‘kosher’ to use the word ‘weapon’ during a firearms forum, as it carries negative connotations and paints members and firearms in an unfair light. The presenter noted that their work involves weapons and the ATT relates to weapons, including firearms. However, they also said that they would take this on board in the future. The presenter outlined that MFAT would keep the forum in the loop regarding the Brokering Bill, and New Zealand’s ATT.

Item 6 resumed – Select Committee – Inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms The forum decided that it would be useful to create a Subcommittee, including three representatives from Police and four members from the forum to work together and discuss the Committee’s recommendations. Police supported the formation of a Subcommittee to go through the pros and cons of the recommendations. Police noted that there was no guarantee that any conclusions reached by the sub-committee would be supported by Government. It was agreed that the Subcommittee should meet on Wednesday, 3 May (one-off meeting) and would be run as a workshop. The Committee elected four members of the Forum, including: • Nicole McKee • John Herbert • Andrew Edgcombe • Debbie Wakker [Nicole McKee was later appointed as an independent advisor to the Minister of Police on the Select Committee report. Nicole nominated Trevor Dyke as a substitute. Trent Smith was also nominated] 1 MFAT uses the term weapon in the context of the Arms Trade Treaty 6 A member discussed the classification of seized firearms and proposed a long term solution. The member outlined that it would be advantageous to differentiate between different firearm categories. For example, pistols used in crimes are not necessarily the registered pistols that each lawful pistol owner uses – the category includes modified firearms that later fall under the pistol category.

The member suggested that if this point is clarified, Police may be able to compile more meaningful statistics. Police noted that there will be a transition period where it will need to refine data. There will be a period where it goes through the data and notes where changes should be made. If there are any questions on the Arms Safety and Control project, they should be emailed to [email protected] Another member suggested that it might be best for local Arms Officers to enter the details of seized firearms into the database, and that this may improve data quality. Police said that it is dedicated to enhancing data quality, and will be as accurate as possible in the future. However, Police also noted that serial numbers are often removed, so Police cannot always tell who the legal owners were.

Item 4– Subcommittee firearms storage The members had been provided with the Subcommittee’s terms of reference before the meeting took place. It was agreed that the Subcommittee would be represented by three forum members and three Police representatives, with the Chair shared between members of the Subcommittee. While the group is to be restricted to these six people, an agreed subject matter expert could also join the group for certain discussions. In terms of decision making, the Subcommittee’s powers would not exceed the forums. It was confirmed that the Subcommittee is there to ensure that what is being proposed is achievable for ordinary licensed firearms owners. The Committee agreed to the following representatives: • New Zealand Retail (Trent Smith) • Council of Licensed Firearms Owners (Michael Dowling) • Rural Women New Zealand (Rachael Dean) • Police (Insp Roly Williams, Paul Gatland and Richard Smith) One member noted that there are many ways of being secure, and indicated that the price and quality of containers is perhaps not as important as the combination of measures including monitoring alarms. Similar concerns were raised in the Wairarapa meeting mentioned earlier in the Minutes. Police agrees that this is worth considering. A member asked whether the Subcommittee is also going to look at the legal requirements and how they are working. They were concerned that very little has changed in this space for a long time. Police noted that it first needs to validate the current process, and then it can go on to look at changes/recommendations. Firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) 7 FPOs are likely to be one of the amendments to legislation that would progress. The Committee’s recommendation about gang members not being fit and proper links to FPOs. If the amendment goes ahead, it is likely that a limited number of people will be subject to it initially. It is also important to note that FPOs may not just be limited to gang members. Other than those relating to FPO/gang related matters, Police considers any further changes are unlikely before the election. FPOs prohibit someone from obtaining a firearms licence, possessing a firearm and associating with people in possession of firearms. A member raised concerns about this – could a licensed firearms owner be penalised for associating with someone subject to a FPO? Police reconfirmed that relatively few people would be subject to FPOs and considers it extremely unlikely that a licensed firearms owner would befriend someone subject to a FPO.

Police is still leading work on FPOs, although it will need to go through the Ministry of Justice and the normal parliamentary process before it is included in legislation and implemented. In relation to gang membership, Police has to provide evidence that someone is in a gang. Police has intelligence on patched members and some prospects on their way to becoming patched members. A member asked what the advantages were of having FPOs, compared to someone not being granted a firearms licence. Police outlined that without a licence someone can still use a firearm under the supervision of a firearms licence holder. A lot of ideas in respect of FPOs are being taken from Australia. In New Zealand, FPOs are being predominantly looked at as part of the Gang Action Plan. Interestingly, there is already evidence from Australia that it is much more difficult for someone to take on a leadership role in a gang if they are subject to a FPO. Penalties for firearms offences A member asked about whether it was possible to impose instant fines for firearms offences in New Zealand, rather than full prosecution. The member indicated that this might be a good alternative option – there is a better closeness to the offence with an instant fine, whereas a long and drawn out court process is not as good. The member indicated that there is an unhelpful disconnect between an offence which is committed now, and the court process which takes place a lot longer down the track. Police outlined that there is no provision for officers to impose fines for firearms offences. Nevertheless, Police noted that under a new Arms Amendment Bill, the whole penalty structure would be reviewed. During this review, there may potentially be scope to provide for some offences to be punishable by infringement fees.

Item 8 – Representatives’ attendance at Forum involved in litigation with Police The Chair noted that the primary aim of the Firearms Community Advisory Forum is for members to establish open lines of communication, and for members to be confident that their comments will not be attributed to the other members outside of the meeting. If it gets to the situation where a number of members take legal action against Police, then the confidentiality ordinarily guaranteed under the Chatham House Rules may no longer apply. If a case went to court, a member may need to testify under oath and could be forced to identify and repeat the comments made by individuals at the forum. Police noted that if the Forum is to work, there needs to be a robust process in place for free and frank flow of discussion – it is essential to lay down some basic rules. With this in mind, it might be worth taking up one of two options: 8 1. When a topic comes up that touches on a member’s litigation, it may be prudent for them to leave the room during discussion of that particular topic. 2. The member could delegate their authority to someone else within their organisation to attend the meeting instead. For either of these options to work, members need to be quite clear about their position/situation from the beginning, and it needs to be quite clear when a specific topic is going to be discussed in the meeting. A member suggested that judicial review is different from an individual’s own decision to litigate – if judicial review is underway, then contributing to the ongoing conversation may not be as problematic but time will tell. The Committee agreed to adopt the rules as described.

Item 9 – Firearms Safety Council of Aotearoa The proposed membership in the Forum of Jo Green as a representative of the Firearms Safety Council of Aotearoa (FSCofA) had been tabled at the Arms Safety and Control project workshop in February, but no formal decision taken. The Committee was advised that an email had been sent to FSCofA which noted criteria for consideration of membership which are: • Relevant skills, knowledge and understanding of firearms and issues/legislation relating to firearms • Relevant practical experience and networks within the firearms community • Personal attributes and ability to work constructively with and make a contribution to the Forum different from that provided by current membership • Being a representative of an incorporated group (who can represent the views of the group rather than their individual view). That email acknowledged that some of the required information had been provided and that Joe Green’s personal knowledge and experience is well known, but the applicant was asked for: • the list of organisations that are members, and an indication of membership size, • what aspects of the Council’s objectives distinguish the Council from the firearm safety and safe use representatives already on the Committee; and • an indication if the AGM has been held or if you remain in an interim chair role. A member provided some additional information around membership of FSCofA, and the Forum membership agreed in-principle (by majority), to the FSCofA membership subject to receipt of adequate additional information from them.

Item 10 – Other Business A member raised a concern about the number of roadblocks that some Australian visitors had to go through in order to participate in a firearms event that took place over Easter weekend. At first, they were not licensed to use restricted firearms because they did not have the equivalent endorsement in Australia. The issue is that civilians cannot lawfully own those firearms in Australia, so there was no way for them to obtain an equivalent endorsement there. Police noted that this issue was resolved quickly. There were processes that could be put in place to address risks. Nevertheless, Police noted that it may be useful to clarify policy on this issue. Police indicated that it requires 30 days minimum to complete the visitor licensing process. 9 The member then asked what would happen if a citizen from the United States of America wanted to come over and use firearms – a country without firearm categories. Police replied that it would make inquiries and ensure that the visitor had a certificate from the relevant law enforcement agency in the United States showing that they have authority to possess the firearm in question. The member indicated that the recent Australian situation should have been a very low risk for Police – the competition was taking place on a fully controlled range on a military base, with secure firearms storage facilities. Police noted that according to New Zealand’s firearms legislation, a person must have an E Category licence, even if they are shooting under appropriate supervision. Police cannot provide authority for someone to obtain E category firearms without the correct endorsement. The member stated that this has not been a problem over the past decade, but it appears to be at the moment because of a change in policy. Police noted there was no change in policy. Visitors need to be properly identified to determine eligibility. Anyone applying for a visitor’s firearms licence should have a good chance of getting it. They just need to provide Police with the right details, including a copy of their current licence. It is important for Police to have appropriate checks and balances in place. Police noted that it will seek to provide greater transparency of process, and will note flagged issues. The member suggested that when firearms licensing is carried out for sporting teams it should be conducted in a centralised fashion. The Chair noted that it is important for both sides of the debate to recognise the difficult decisions that need to be made, and that it is imperative to have a transparent process in place. Another member suggested that the meeting was particularly productive on this occasion, and that it may be because there was some continuity from the Arms Safety and Control workshop that took place in February (full day workshop). With that in mind, they suggested that at least one Forum meeting each year should be in the form of an all-day session. The benefit of this is that nothing would be rushed. Police agreed to this.

AGREED ACTIONS: ACTION ASSIGNED TO COMPLETED DATE POLICE TO PROVIDE THE FORUM WITH MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF RESTRICTED FIREARMS SEIZED BY THE POLICE, NOTING THAT THIS INFORMATION WOULD BE LIMITED TO WHAT IS KNOWN AT THE WELLINGTON ARMOURY AND WOULD NOT PROVIDE A COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL PICTURE OF RESTRICTED FIREARMS SEIZED POLICE AGREE THAT 7 DECEMBER 2017 BE AN ALL DAY FCAF MEETING FCAF/POLICE POLICE TO PROVIDE GREATER TRANSPARENCY OF VISITOR PERMIT PROCESS, AND WILL NOTE FLAGGED ISSUES. POLICE A SUBCOMMITTEE TO WORKSHOP THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO ISSUES RELATING TO THE ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARMS. TO TAKE PLACE ON 3 MAY POLICE COMPLETED FIREARMS SAFETY COUNCIL OF AOTEAROA FOLLOW UP OF MEMBERSHIP POLICE REPRESENTATIVES’ ATTENDANCE AT FORUM INVOLVED IN FACAF/POLICE AGREED AND 10 LITIGATION WITH POLICE: RULES GOVERNING THIS COMPLETED SUBCOMMITTEE ON FIREARMS STORAGE TO MEET POLICE TO MEET IN EARLY JUNE

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINUTES : Firearms Community Advisory Forum SUBJECT
Firearms Community Advisory Forum
DATE
Thursday 8 December 2016
TIME
0930 – 1230
VENUE
Level 9 Conference Room Wellington Central
ATTENDEES
Catherine Petrey, Julia Penney, Geoff Dunn (Partial), Sandra Keenan, Nicole McKee, Michael Dowling, Alastair Williams, Paul Gatland, John Herbert, Kirsty Marshall, Andrew Edgcombe, Debbie Wakker, Ray Vine, Trevor Dyke, Richard Smith, Poh Boey, Andrew Smith, Rachael Dean, Michelle Podmore, Dell Higgie, Nicole Salmon, Chandrika Kumaran
APOLOGIES
Rob Ngamoki, Chris Scahill, Matthew Gibson, Helen Morgan, John Howat, Trent Smith
PREVIOUS MINUTES: confirmed
The Chair welcomed members, followed by a Health and Safety emergency evacuation procedure and personal conveniences discussion followed by a round table introduction.
Chair covered Chatham House Rules applying. Open and honest communication and no names assigned.
The minutes from the previous meeting were confirmed.
RECAPPED ACTIONS FROM LAST MEETING:
1. Police to send out to the Forum the safe requirements checklist and advise the Forum of the certification expectations when that exercise is completed. Still in Progress.
2. Police to do some tidying up of the mail order system to ensure it can work smoothly. This issue can be revisited at the next meeting. Police will try to notify the forum ahead of this time if there are any changes. Still in progress.
3. Official Information Act Database. There was a discussion regarding the fact that Police has the highest number of OIA requests of any Government Agency. There is currently a review team looking at how to improve the timeliness of OIA responses. One solution is to have monthly Police statistics online. Still in progress.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE – ARMS TRADE TREATY UPDATE
MFAT provided a background and overview of the ATT and New Zealand’s reporting requirements.
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is the first treaty to regulate the international transfer of conventional arms, from handguns, to tanks, to battleships. It entered into force on 24 December 2014. The ATT focuses on strengthening import and export legislation, policies and processes, and increasing transparency around arms transfers. The ATT now has nearly 100 signatories. The next (third) meeting is to be held in Geneva 11 – 14 September 2017.The submission of States Parties’ first annual reports, which will be publicly available, is a major milestone.
NZ provided an initial report and subsequent yearly reports are a requirement. 1
The Civil Society criticised the ATT for not addressing the most significant issues, such as transfer of arms to Saudi Arabia (Yemen). However, the first two years has concentrated on gaining signatories and attending to procedural frameworks and ‘housekeeping’ to ensure a good structural base from which to focus on furtherance of the ATT. ‘Housekeeping’ has included setting consistent templates and setting up a voluntary trust fund to help countries that are struggling to meet ATT criteria. New Zealand has provided ‘workshops’ on barriers for Africa which has no legislative framework to enable them to meet the ATT requirements.
A question was put to MFAT about whether China and Russia are signatories to the ATT. They are not, but have said they will be keeping a watching brief and reviewing their position. India is not a signatory. The USA has signed the ATT but has not ratified it due to the Senate rules. The UK and France have signed and ratified the ATT, while Israel has signed but is yet to ratify the Treaty.
There are a number of important developments relating to the ATT this year, including:
1. The creation of three working groups looking at Transparency and Reporting, Implementation and Universalisation;
2. The establishment of a voluntary trust to help states overcome barriers to join the ATT;
3. A set of Governing criteria; and
4. The appointment of the first head of the Secretariat for a four year term.
ATT and Brokering
New Zealand currently has no controls on brokering, which is the negotiation, arrangement or facilitation of a transaction involving the international movement of arms and/or military equipment.
Article 10 of the ATT requires each state party to take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering under its jurisdiction for conventional arms covered under Article 2(1). Such measures may include requiring brokers to register or obtain written authorisation before engaging in brokering. Unregulated brokering can undermine the Treaty.
In directing that New Zealand should ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty, Cabinet also directed officials to develop proposals to address brokering. The proposed Bill will establish a regime that prevents New Zealand individuals and entities from engaging in brokering where there is a risk of arms and/or military equipment being transferred to illegitimate users or undesirable destinations.
This will be achieved by requiring individuals and entities wanting to engage in brokering to register with the New Zealand Government and obtain a permit for brokering activities. Permits would not be granted where there is a risk of the movement of arms and military equipment to illegitimate users or destinations. Brokering without a permit would be an offence. The regime would have extraterritorial effect and apply not only to persons in New Zealand, but also New Zealanders and New Zealand entities operating abroad.
The Brokering Bill is currently being drafted.
The ATT covers all weapons on New Zealand’s Strategic Goods List. It is important to note that the Treaty does not cover imports, and exports to and from New Zealand and the domestic sale of firearms in New Zealand, as these activities are already covered by the Arms Act 1983 and MFAT processes.
A member queried what a “transaction” is for the purposes of the proposed brokering legislation. MFAT responded that the definition is unclear at the moment and that it will be clarified in law, although they mentioned that transactions would relate to items on the Strategic Goods List as shown on the website. Each country has scope to define “brokering” themselves. 2
It was noted that it is unclear where the Bill will fit in the 2017 Legislative Programme. The Bill’s expected progress will be outlined at the start of next year, but unforeseen events may throw this into disarray. However, this Bill is expected to have cross-party support, which may help its progress.
MFAT noted that the ATT and its corresponding Bill should have no practical impact on New Zealand. The key point is that New Zealand has to make sure that it is not the weak link among the countries ratifying the Treaty. Nevertheless, a member raised a concern that the Bill may result in increased import costs.
ARMS SAFETY AND CONTROL PROJECT
Police gave a presentation on the Arms Safety and Control (ASAC) project. Police provided a very brief overview of what was discussed at the previous meeting. Before discussing the project in detail, Police noted that the project’s name had changed from the ‘Firearms Administration and Management’ project at the previous meeting to ASAC. A copy of the slideshow presentation has been sent to all Forum members.
The project has identified three key issues, including resourcing, effective management of firearm licensing and the Arms Act keeping pace with the changing environment. These issues have corresponding risks to be managed, including feelings of community safety, inconsistent support to the firearms community and Police not managing the firearms environment effectively. In relation to the risks, Police outlined how it wants to provide more consistent support for the firearms community.
Police listed the following goals:
1. Reduce the opportunities for harm from firearms
2. Improve user and stakeholder satisfaction with firearms management practice
3. Create a trusted firearms management system.
There were also a number of critical success factors including strategic fit, potential value for money (whether the market can sustain it), supplier capacity, and potential affordability and achievability.
Police also offered a likely framework (boundaries to work within) for the project:
1. Scope – Police seeks to effectively deliver services that address the needs of the firearms community and firearms environment
2. Service solution option – Police will implement a new national system to meet the needs of the firearms environment
3. Service delivery – Police (internal) or Police with other providers may deliver the services
4. Implementation – Police will deliver these services with a staged approach
5. Funding – Current funding, increased fees and potentially greater Crown funding will provide the revenue required.
A member asked whether a new ICT solution would impact on funding. Police advised that it would not necessarily have an impact, and that it is possible that funding will be entirely internal. Noting this, another member raised a concern that greater overheads would require more funding, and fees should not necessarily be increased.
Police also noted that it is hoping to complete the business case by the second quarter in 2017. However, it will require approval after June., In early 2017 (date to be confirmed), Police will hold a workshop for community members of the Forum in the hope of understanding the firearms community’s needs, and align them with wider organisational outcomes where possible.
An email has been set up specifically for information around the firearms change project. Anyone with concerns or questions regarding the Police project should email:
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POLICE ENGAGE SAFETY CAMPAIGN
Police then discussed its firearms safety campaign, noting that it was previously unable to access its target market with its $90,000 budget. Police talked to its public affairs team and analysed how to improve its message and access more people. Police has now coordinated an advertising campaign with Ogilvy & Mather, which will play advertisements across a number of different platforms (namely radio and internet) at important times of the year. This strategy keeps costs down whilst also hitting the target market. The campaign includes strong themes of storage, handling, shooting and transport of firearms. It will be run under the banner “engage Safety”. The current Storage advertisement states “If it is not in a safe, it is not safe”.
The advertisements were shown to the members, who largely agreed that the messages were simple, focused and effective. A number of members advised that they were happy to work with Police on the advertising campaign.
link to the website to come
CHAMBER SAFETY TAGS
There was some discussion about firearms tags and that they used to be given out by the Mountain Safety Council. It was noted by a member of the Forum that there is a manufacturer in Taita who can produce these for about 69 cents per unit. Together, Police and this member are to investigative this further and report back at the next meeting.
There was also some discussion on the safety of shooting sports. Some members suggested that the firearms safety advertising should be targeted more towards hunters than shooters generally.
PERMITS
Police noted that it has received an influx of letters on permits recently, however this does not reflect the general situation. Most districts have minimal or no import permits backlogged. There was a major backlog at the end of 2015 but now there is a 30 day turnaround. There are 250 import permit applications for parts waiting to be processed, although this is purely because of IT issues.
The permit application system is essentially electronic. Once it is printed on watermarked paper, it should go to the Arms Officer and the applicant. There is no way of tracing that at the moment. Once printed, it goes to Police and then to the applicant. There is an issue where Police thinks that it has done its job, but the hard copy of the permit may not have been received by the applicant. The way around this is to send email advice that a permit has been forwarded.
SUBCOMMITTEE – FIREARMS SECURITY
A Forum member provided a written proposal that there should be a subcommittee on firearms security and storage to further inform the review of security arrangements. The member was not present at the meeting, but a number of members agreed that they were interested in joining the subcommittee as the concept of security has changed. Another member indicated that they would not necessarily like to be a part of the subcommittee, but that they would like any proposal run by them to ensure it is rural-proofed. Police will draft Terms of Reference for the subcommittee in the New Year.
4
SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY
The Law and Order Committee conducting the Inquiry into the Illegal Possession of Firearms has drafted their report. Police has provided comment and has attended a number of meetings. The timeframe for the release of the Committee’s Report will likely be March or April 2017.
FIREARMS LEGISLATION
The former Minister of Police has advised officials there will be no movement on the Arms Act until after the Select Committee release their report.
OTHER BUSINESS:
Forum members expressed their concern that changes being made by Police are piecemeal and not coordinated. Some members are concerned that members of their own organisations are losing trust and confidence in Police, so it is crucial to establish better lines of communication. Police noted that this is one of the key reasons behind the consultation and workshop scheduled in early 2017, as it will ensure that stakeholders can contribute to the review process.
A member indicated that there was a fear in their organisation that if someone speaks up, they will be earmarked for lesser service in the future. Police outlined that there is more of a dialogue between Police and the firearms community than there has been in the past, and that if people are experiencing issues, they should contact their Arms Officer. If the Arms Officer does not know how to help, the Arms Officer can contact Police National Headquarters. Contact information for Arms Officers can be found at:
http://www.police.govt.nz/advice/firearms-and-safety/firearms-offices-and-contact-details
There was also comment regarding a previous Arms Manager who spent significant time with the firearms community understanding what their requirements were and why, and worked hard to establish a good relationship with them, which included fair policies and procedures. An invitation was put to the new Arms Manager to attend firearms meetings and other events.
One forum member suggested that all Arms Officers should report through PNHQ Wellington as there was a significant amount of inconsistency in the application of policy, often to the detriment of the firearms community.
MEASUREMENT OF FIREARMS
There was a lengthy discussion on the fact that the measurement of MSSAs has changed. Consequently, some licensed firearms owners no longer lawfully own their firearms because they do not hold the required handgun endorsement. This is fundamentally because some shortened MSSAs are now defined as pistols because of their length.
Police noted that a document has been made available that covers the measurement of firearms (link attached). Based on this opinion, Police advises that if a firearm (when folded) is less than 762mm and can still be fired, then it is classed as a pistol under the Arms Act 1983. This interpretation is considered to be based on the intention of the Act when it was drafted.
Police has agreed to look into getting a further legal view on this.
PERMITS
A question was put forward “what would delay a permit for a ‘standard’ part for an E Cat firearm”?
Police responded that that there are essentially two things that can produce delays:
5
1. Staffing and training (new staff and the time it takes to train them)
2. IT systems, the current one is standalone and can only be used by one person to input data at a time.
It was mentioned that a template for permits is online and could speed the process up if more people used it. The link is attached:
Link to templates online????
It was suggested, and Police agreed, to add a section on permit numbers (including applications still being processes) in the Quarterly review newsletter.
One member noted that Police requested a “biography” in relation to a request for an import permit by a member of his organisation. The member had written to Police asking if this request was as a result of some policy change in PNHQ. Police responded that there was no policy change with respect to information being sought from applicants as to why they wished to import particular firearms, and Police in attendance did not know about “biographies’ being requested. The forum member passed on the email that he received and Police will follow up on this issue.
Meeting closed 12.40
6
AGREED ACTIONS:
ACTION
ASSIGNED TO
COMPLETED DATE
PLACE BROKERING – ATT AS A STANDING ITEM ON THE AGENDA
POLICE
13/12/2016
SEND POWERPOINT FROM POH BOEY TO ALL FORUM MEMBERS
POLICE
13/12/2016
SEND OUT DOCUMENT ON SECURITY OF FIREARMS TO FORUM MEMBERS
POLICE
09/12/2016
FORUM MEMBERS/POLICE TO GET INFORMATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF CHAMBER SAFETY TAGS
POLICE AND FORUM MEMBER
PUT LINK TO ARMS OFFICERS ON WEBSITE IN MINUTES
POLICE
13/12/2016
POLICE TO LOOK AT ADDING THE ABILITY FOR PERMIT APPLICANTS TO LOOK UP PROGRESS ON THEIR APPLICATIONS
POLICE
SEND TO FORUM MEMBERS A PROCESS ON NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND INFORMATION AND CONTACTS.
POLICE
ADD PERMIT STATISTICS AND RELEVANT INFORMATION TO THE QUARTERLY UPDATE
POLICE
COMPLETE A DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE (2017)
POLICE
MEASUREMENT OF THE LENGTH OF FIREARMS ISSUES TO BE LOOKED AT BY POLICE CROWN LAW OPINION
POLICE
PUT A LINK OR THE DOCUMENT THAT OUTLINES ‘WHAT POLICE DO’ CURRENTLY IN RELATION TO THE MEASUREMENT AND WHY
POLICE
SEND THE PERMIT FORM LINK IN MINUTES
POLICE
POLICE TO SEND INFORMATION TO FORUM MEMBERS COVERED IN LETTER FROM TAYLOR
POLICE
POLICE TO INVESTIGATE THE USE OF THE TERM ‘BIOGRAPHIES’ BY ARMS OFFICERS
POLICE
7

 

Firearms Community Advisory Forum

Monday, September 11, 2017

 Read More

This year's recipient of the Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) Access Community Health Scholarship is Roberta Kaio, from Ahipara in the Far North.

Roberta is of Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa and Ngapuhi Nui Tonu descent and works as a Primary Mental Health Coordinator for a mobile nursing team with Te Hiku Hauora. She will use the scholarship funds towards her Masters of Nursing at the University of Auckland. 

Roberta is passionate about working in mental health, especially in rural areas, and promotes working in a holistic framework and within a cultural approach.

“I'm so grateful to receive this scholarship,” says Roberta, who has two post-graduate diplomas in health management and nursing. “I started studying later in life, while on a Single Parent Benefit after a traumatic experience. I remember the days as a single mother with two children, knowing I had to do something better for myself and for my children. I became passionate about supporting people with mental health issues and those that experience abuse.”

Through study and employment opportunities, Roberta progressed her nursing career working with Auckland DHBs, including Community Mental Health teams, the Mason clinic and non-governmental agencies.

“After nearly 22 years living in Auckland, my husband, children and I shifted to the Far North to reconnect with our whanau and community, we now have a better life balance with time for fishing, being outdoors gathering kai and time on the beach together.”

“I spend a lot of time travelling to clients across the rural Far North; however, I get a great deal of satisfaction seeing the work that I do make a difference to the community, and I enjoy being part of people's journey in a positive way.”

RWNZ and Access are pleased to play a part in helping support Roberta's own journey towards delivering crucial health services to those in rural communities.

“Community-based rural health services are essential for people living in remote areas,” says Fiona Gower, RWNZ National President. “It is heartening that health professionals like Roberta are passionate about working in regions such as the Far North, and undertaking further study to improve professional knowledge and experience for provision of quality rural health services.”

Access Chief Executive Officer, Simon Lipscombe says, ”We are delighted to award this scholarship to Roberta, who has demonstrated, through her continual studies, an ongoing commitment to providing essential mental health services to those in her rural community. She represents the important connections between primary and secondary healthcare and what that means to the communities that rely on health providers. We are excited to see how Roberta's career progresses over the years and wish her well.”

 

 

RWNZ Access scholarship awarded to Far North's Roberta Kaio

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

This year's recipient of the Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) Access Community Health Scholarship is Roberta Kaio, from Ahipara in the Far North.  Read More

The Government has announced that an extra $270 million will be spent on improving rural broadband and bridging cellphone blackspots in regions throughout New Zealand.

$130m will be spent on expanding fibre-optic ultrafast broadband (UFB) to another 60,000 homes and businesses in 190 towns.

$140m will extend the number of subsidised wireless broadband services to another 74,000 homes and businesses, as well as deliver mobile coverage to approximately 1000km of rural highways and more than 100 tourist areas.

Once completed, UFB will be available to 87 per cent of the population and 99 per cent will have access to high speed internet by 2022.

“The benefits of extra spending to expand connectivity for rural communities are immense. The services will lead to greater economic growth and better access to online education, social services and health information,” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.

“Rural residents will feel safer with better mobile coverage, and the connectivity will reduce the feeling of isolation for those living in remote areas.”

In the past few years, RWNZ has been involved in discussions with nationwide broadband and mobile service providers and government agencies to ensure that rural connectivity remains a top priority. RWNZ is a member of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) and has provided feedback to Crown Fibre Holdings on the social and economic benefits of improved rural connectivity.

RWNZ policy work includes submissions on the RBI 2 and mobile black spots programmes, the draft Digital Technologies education curriculum and the Review of the Telecommunications Act 2001.

While the majority of the roll out contract has been won by Chorus and a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2 Degrees; smaller wireless internet providers (WISPs) will receive work worth $13m.

Click here to read more about the roll out.


We spoke to Bridget Canning who is the operator of Wizwireless which is a provider of high speed wireless internet broadband for the Wairarapa region. 

“WIZwireless supports the Government in addressing the need to improve the broadband services that remote kiwis rely on and we will provide more and better services throughout the Wairarapa Region," says Bridget.

“WIZwireless is delighted that the Government has recognised the vital role that Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) already play in getting reliable and effective broadband to many rural and remote New Zealanders.

“WISPs all over New Zealand are going to deliver fast, modern broadband, that will meet or exceed the Government's target rural broadband specifications by using the latest fixed wireless technologies, this is how tens of thousands of rural kiwi's already get their broadband internet connections including WIZwireless.

“WISP's have proven themselves to be reliable, robust and resilient, during last year's Kaikoura earthquake Amuri Net was the only telecommunications network to come through intact and provided the community with vital connectivity in the days following the earthquake.

“This additional investment by the Government will allow us, the WISPs to upgrade our existing networks and build new sites that will expand our coverage to even more rural and remote internet users who are desperately in need of modern broadband connectivity.

“Individual WISPs who are participating in RBI2 will release their own plans for their local RBI2 programs, we are local businesses who know our communities very well and we are excited by the opportunities that will be created by improved broadband in our communities.”

Bridget received a Certificate of Special Recognition as an Enterprising Rural Woman, at the 2015 RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards for her business success to date.


 

Faster rollout of broadband and mobile will improve connectivity to rural homes

Friday, September 01, 2017

The Government has announced that an extra $270 million will be spent on improving rural broadband and bridging cellphone blackspots in regions throughout New Zealand. Read More

RWNZ has made a submission on an application to the Minister for the Environment for a water conservation order on the Ngaruroro River and Clive River, pursuant to Section 201(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991.

RWNZ opposes aspects of the application for the water conservation order that propose to limit the take of water from the lower River, in particular below Whanawhana. Consistent with other applications submitted (eg: Irrigation NZ, HB Fruitgrowers, and Horticulture NZ) we oppose the application applying to connected groundwater of the Ngaruroro River and consider that the applicants have not defined the nature or extent of the groundwater they propose to be covered by the order. 

Should the Tribunal determine that the application is appropriate for the lower River, we oppose the range of controls and prohibitions suggested within the draft order for the stretch below Whanawhana Cableway. We propose that an alternative range of controls, limits and restrictions be considered that are enabling of food, fibre and wine production values.

We consider that food, wine and fibre production are values that are integral to the cultural identity and economic wellbeing of the local communities and any revised water conservation order should consider the protection of those values because they are outstanding, both nationally and regionally.

We note that the applicants have failed to consider the needs of rural families and communities who derive their livelihood from primary and secondary production. The region is a food producing region and many rural families and communities are dependent on and involved in the primary or secondary production industries and their service industries in some way.

It is apparent to us that the applicants have not given due consideration to the downstream consequences of reducing the ability for producers of food, fibre and wine to have access to the necessary water to grow their crops. We need to ensure that crops are viable and the irrigation of crops is fundamental to that viability, especially in low rainfall seasons.  

RWNZ recognises that it is sometimes difficult to balance the environmental interests and the interests of recreation users and growers and producers. We submit that the interests of people who make a living from the land and the communities that derive their living from the production and manufacture of primary produce must be fairly factored into the equation.

Should the application be approved as submitted it would have the effect of disadvantaging the economic welfare of both the producers of wine and food and the other local businesses that gain their income from the revenue generated by the producers.

Click here to download the Submission.

 

Submission on water conservation order on Ngaruroro River and Clive River

Monday, August 28, 2017

RWNZ has made a submission on an application to the Minister for the Environment for a water conservation order on the Ngaruroro River and Clive River, pursuant to Section 201(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991. Read More

The Justice and Electoral Committee is seeking feedback on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2).

Rural Women New Zealand’s (RWNZ) submission supports the intent of the Bill, especially in regards to the protection of landlords and tenants from the harmful effects of methamphetamine contamination. However, there are ways in which the Bill could improve to provide greater protections for landlords and tenants.

RWNZ recognises that the manufacture of methamphetamine is a widespread, clandestine issue in New Zealand. In our submission, RWNZ noted that the lack of police resources in rural areas can make them a target location for methamphetamine manufacture because there is less risk of getting caught. RWNZ also referenced a case study that shows how harmful methamphetamine contamination in homes can be to the health of tenants, especially children.

In order to provide greater protection for tenants, RWNZ suggested that landlords must be held liable to test for methamphetamine contamination before a tenant moves in if requested by the incoming tenant. In regards to the high cost of methamphetamine testing, RWNZ recommended that the Bill be amended to state that tenants responsible for the methamphetamine contamination should be responsible for all costs involved with the damage that are not covered by a landlord’s insurance. This removes an undue burden on landlords, who should not be held liable to pay the costs incurred by methamphetamine contamination.

"Tenants must be made responsible for the damage they cause to the landlord's property,” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand. “This includes the cost of remediating contamination caused by tenants who use or manufacture methamphetamine.”

Click here to read the Submission

 

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No2) Submission

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Justice and Electoral Committee is seeking feedback on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2).  Read More

 Rural Women New Zealand Rural Connectivity Award

Rural Women New Zealand are offering a new award this year: Rural Women New Zealand Rural Connectivity Award. The award has been established to recognise the importance of connectivity to rural communities and agri-businesses in rural areas. The award celebrates journalism that helps raise awareness about the issues and benefits of rural connectivity.

Examples of subjects that could be included as entries:

- Online learning and education materials for students

- Farm management programmes / apps

- Farm safety management

- Health management

- Maintaining connections with family, friends and community

- Business capabilities and growth

- Accessing research and development programmes

- Rural broadband initiatives and infrastructure

Entries in the RWNZ Rural Connectivity Award 2017 must be of two articles, radio broadcasts or television programmes broadly based on the theme of rural connectivity.

Entries closed Tuesday 12 September.

Any New Zealand-based journalist or communicator is eligible to enter the award. The winner will receive $750 in prize money. 

Click here to download an entry form.

 

 

Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award 2017

Entries have closed for the Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award 2017, which will be presented at the NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists annual awards dinner in Wellington on 13 October.

The Rural Women New Zealand award encourages journalists to report on the achievements of women living and working in rural communities.

Entries in the RWNZ Journalism Award 2017 must be of two articles, radio broadcasts or television programmes broadly based on the theme of “rural women making a difference.” This could be in the sense of community involvement, on farm, or in another rural-based business or activity.

“RWNZ is proud to sponsor this Award for journalism features celebrating the achievements of rural women, through enterprise or volunteering in roles that support their rural community,” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.

Nadine Porter was the winner of the 2016 Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award. Nadine's winning articles featured research on rural women and isolation, and the role of social media and were published in the Ashburton Guardian Farming.

Entries closed Wednesday 6 September 2017. Any New Zealand-based journalist or communicator is eligible to enter the award. The winner will receive $750 in prize money.

Click here to download an entry form.


 

 

Read All NewsRecent news

The Rural Women New Zealand National Office has relocated to Technology One House, Level 5, 86-96 Victoria Street, Wellington.

RWNZ National Office would like to advise members that since the relocation on 10 July 2017, postal delivery to the new office location has been disrupted.

We have already mailed out Membership invoices to members. We expect that you may be sending your payment and invoice slip back to National Office. We are aware that some mail posted to RWNZ has been returned to senders. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience. We are working with New Zealand Post to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

If you have any concerns about invoices, please email: [email protected] or phone the National Office: 04 473 5524.

As at Tuesday 18 July, the reception phone line is connected, phone 04 4735524. 

If you have an email enquiry, please email [email protected]

We will keep you updated with progress on the relocation, phone and email services, through the RWNZ website and social media: Facebook (www.facebook.com/ruralwomennz/) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/RuralWomenNZ).

 

 

RWNZ National Office has moved

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Rural Women New Zealand National Office has relocated to Technology One House, Level 5, 86-96 Victoria Street, Wellington. Read More

The Government has announced that an extra $270 million will be spent on improving rural broadband and bridging cellphone blackspots in regions throughout New Zealand.

$130m will be spent on expanding fibre-optic ultrafast broadband (UFB) to another 60,000 homes and businesses in 190 towns.

$140m will extend the number of subsidised wireless broadband services to another 74,000 homes and businesses, as well as deliver mobile coverage to approximately 1000km of rural highways and more than 100 tourist areas.

Once completed, UFB will be available to 87 per cent of the population and 99 per cent will have access to high speed internet by 2022.

“The benefits of extra spending to expand connectivity for rural communities are immense. The services will lead to greater economic growth and better access to online education, social services and health information,” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.

“Rural residents will feel safer with better mobile coverage, and the connectivity will reduce the feeling of isolation for those living in remote areas.”

In the past few years, RWNZ has been involved in discussions with nationwide broadband and mobile service providers and government agencies to ensure that rural connectivity remains a top priority. RWNZ is a member of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) and has provided feedback to Crown Fibre Holdings on the social and economic benefits of improved rural connectivity.

RWNZ policy work includes submissions on the RBI 2 and mobile black spots programmes, the draft Digital Technologies education curriculum and the Review of the Telecommunications Act 2001.

While the majority of the roll out contract has been won by Chorus and a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2 Degrees; smaller wireless internet providers (WISPs) will receive work worth $13m.

Click here to read more about the roll out.


We spoke to Bridget Canning who is the operator of Wizwireless which is a provider of high speed wireless internet broadband for the Wairarapa region. 

“WIZwireless supports the Government in addressing the need to improve the broadband services that remote kiwis rely on and we will provide more and better services throughout the Wairarapa Region," says Bridget.

“WIZwireless is delighted that the Government has recognised the vital role that Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) already play in getting reliable and effective broadband to many rural and remote New Zealanders.

“WISPs all over New Zealand are going to deliver fast, modern broadband, that will meet or exceed the Government's target rural broadband specifications by using the latest fixed wireless technologies, this is how tens of thousands of rural kiwi's already get their broadband internet connections including WIZwireless.

“WISP's have proven themselves to be reliable, robust and resilient, during last year's Kaikoura earthquake Amuri Net was the only telecommunications network to come through intact and provided the community with vital connectivity in the days following the earthquake.

“This additional investment by the Government will allow us, the WISPs to upgrade our existing networks and build new sites that will expand our coverage to even more rural and remote internet users who are desperately in need of modern broadband connectivity.

“Individual WISPs who are participating in RBI2 will release their own plans for their local RBI2 programs, we are local businesses who know our communities very well and we are excited by the opportunities that will be created by improved broadband in our communities.”

Bridget received a Certificate of Special Recognition as an Enterprising Rural Woman, at the 2015 RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards for her business success to date.


 

Faster rollout of broadband and mobile will improve connectivity to rural homes

Friday, September 01, 2017

The Government has announced that an extra $270 million will be spent on improving rural broadband and bridging cellphone blackspots in regions throughout New Zealand. Read More

Rural Support Trust representatives are working closely with farmers to monitor well-being and directing them to relief assistance for flooding and other adverse events.

The Rural Support Trust advise farmers to ensure stock and domestic animals have food, water, and shelter where necessary, and are secure. Ensure that all stock injuries are promptly attended too, after human needs are met.

If your farm or rural property or stock has been affected by an adverse event and you need assistance, contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) with information on the impacts on your farm, or requests for help.

The Rural Women New Zealand Adverse Events and Relief Fund is available to individuals, communities and groups, with a particular emphasis on rural women and children. The fund provides financial assistance to persons or groups, where there is an identified urgent need due to recent adverse events such as drought, fires, floods or earthquakes.

Click here to read more about applying for the fund.

Contact details for support agencies:
The Rural Support Trust (RST organise community events and one-on-one mentoring, as well as targeted support services in emergency situations)  
http://www.rural-support.org.nz Ph: 0800 787 254.

DairyNZ: Sharemilkers support http://www.dairynz.co.nz/farm/tactics/support-for-sharemilkers/

Federated Farmers http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/ Ph: 0800 327 646 or drought feedline 0800 376 844.

Doug Avery’s Resilient Farmer http://www.resilientfarmer.co.nz/

Farmstrong http://www.farmstrong.co.nz


If you just want to talk, or know someone who is at risk, there are a range of support options available, including counselling services:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling

Youthline: 0800 376 633 or free text 234 - Provides 24 hour telephone and text counselling services for young people

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 - Provides 24 hour telephone counselling.

Women's Refuge: 0800 REFUGE (733 843) a 24/7 crisis and support line provide advice and information.

Shakti New Zealand 0800SHAKTI (0800 742 584) If you are in a situation of domestic violence call our 24-hour crisis line, and multi-lingual staff will provide information.

Tautoko: 0508 828 865 - provides support, information and resources to people at risk of suicide, and their family, whānau and friends.

What'sup: 0800 942 8787 (0800 What’s Up) is a counselling helpline for children and young people, aged 5-18. Phone Mon-Fri 1-10pm, Sat-Sun 3-10pm.

Kidsline: 0800 543 754, it is a 24/7 helpline for children and teens, run by specially trained youth volunteers.

Thelowdown.co.nz - Free Text 5626, watch videos or contact for support. 

depression.org.nz National Depression Initiative (for adults), 0800 111 757 - 24 hour service 

Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki If you're worried about a child or family that you know, there are ways you can help, contact Child, Youth and Family.

For information about suicide prevention, see http://www.spinz.org.nz .

If it is an emergency, or you feel yourself, or someone you know is at risk, please call 111.

Rural community support services

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Rural Support Trust representatives are working closely with farmers to monitor well-being and directing them to relief assistance for flooding and other adverse events. Read More

The Ministry of Health has proposed a new framework for suicide prevention and is seeking feedback. Rural Women New Zealand’s (RWNZ) submission supports the general framework.

Although expresses concern regarding the lack of concrete targets and detailed methods for how any of the initiatives will be implemented. We are especially concerned about the lack of a strategic plan to lead and fund these activities.

The proposed framework aims to address the devastating impact that suicide has on New Zealand’s communities and the unfortunate reality that over 500 people in New Zealand die by suicide every year. RWNZ supports the framework’s focus on supporting positive wellbeing for all ages, increasing awareness of suicidal behaviour and mental health, strengthening systems already in place to support communities, and improving collaboration among those working to prevent suicidal behaviour.

In our submission, we have addressed the fact that the suicide rate is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, as well as the various factors that place rural communities at an increased risk of mental illness. These factors include vulnerability to economic fluctuations and social isolation, which are compounded by the lack of access to services and support, substandard or no access to reliable and affordable internet and mobile coverage, and the history of inequalities that rural communities face often being overlooked.

RWNZ has suggested that in order to improve mental wellbeing in rural areas, rural health research must become a priority to understand and address the needs of rural communities. We have also urged the Ministry of Health to refrain from relying on technological health services, recognising that not all rural communities have access to reliable and affordable internet and mobile coverage.

Rural Women New Zealand strongly supports the framework’s proposal to involve, train and educate community members on suicide prevention. Rural Women New Zealand has expressed that it is essential for rural communities to be provided with the right tools to improve mental wellbeing within the community and reduce social stigma associated with mental illness.

As further information becomes available, this will be distributed to the members.

 

Click here to download the Submission: June 2017 Suicide Prevention Strategy Submission


 

 

Suicide Prevention Strategy Submission

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Ministry of Health has proposed a new framework for suicide prevention and is seeking feedback. Rural Women New Zealand’s (RWNZ) submission supports the general framework. Read More

Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is RWNZ's topic of study for 2017. We have included an overview of the purpose of ACWW below, along with some links to further information.

RWNZ was one of the founding members of ACWW. It is one of the largest international development organisations for rural women.

The ACWW network allows it to engage at the local, national, and international level with the aim of achieving these goals:

- To raise the standard of living for rural women and their families through education, training and community development programmes.

- To provide practical support to our members and help them set up income-generating schemes.

- To support educational opportunities for women and girls, and help eliminate gender discrimination.

- To give rural women a voice at an international level through our links with UN agencies and bodies.

Caption: Delegates from the South Pacific Area Conference in New Plymouth complete the ACWW Walk the World event in April 2017. 

Click here to download an information booklet about ACWW (8MB PDF)

Click here to go to the ACWW website

 

ACWW Study Topic 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is RWNZ's topic of study for 2017. We have included an overview of the purpose of ACWW below, along with some links to further information.  Read More

The Justice and Electoral Committee is seeking feedback on the Marriage (Court Consent to Marriage of Minors) Amendment Bill. RWNZ's submission fully supports the Bill and its intent to prevent forced marriages from occurring in New Zealand by requiring minors aged 16 and 17 to gain approval by the Family Court in order to marry.

In our submission, RWNZ cited various international conventions and declarations of which New Zealand is a signatory or party to that do not condone forced marriage. These include the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). RWNZ expressed that the proposed amendment to New Zealand’s marriage law upholds New Zealand’s commitment to these documents.

RWNZ also noted that the law as it currently stands, which allows minors aged 16 and 17 to marry with parental consent, is insufficient in preventing forced marriage. The proposed amendment serves as a precaution to prevent parental guardians from attempting to facilitate a forced marriage.

As further information becomes available, this will be distributed to the members.

Click here to download the RWNZ submission.

Marriage Amendment Bill

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Justice and Electoral Committee is seeking feedback on the Marriage (Court Consent to Marriage of Minors) Amendment Bill. RWNZ's submission fully supports the Bill and its intent to prevent forced marriages from occurring in New Zealand by requiring minors aged 16 and 17 to gain approval by the Family Court in order to marry. Read More