Budget 2009: Judith Collins - $10 million to complete national taser roll out

  • Judith Collins

Extra money to equip all police districts with tasers is to be included in the Budget, Police Minister Judith Collins announced today.

A total of $5.3 million in operating funding will be provided in 2009/10 to complete deployment of tasers throughout the country, with another $4.2 million spread across the following three years to meet ongoing costs. An additional $521,000 in capital funding will be provided in 2009/10 for computer systems supporting the deployment of tasers.

"The Government supports the use of tasers as a vital tool to manage dangerous situations and reduce potential harm to the public and police officers," Ms Collins says.

"Tasers were subject to a thorough trial in four districts. Each taser will be equipped with a camera and rigorous rules have been put in place to ensure tasers are not misused.

"At a time when officers are increasingly confronted with volatile situations fuelled by methamphetamine, it is the Government's responsibility to ensure police have the equipment to keep themselves and the public safe.

"The Government has placed a high priority on providing sufficient resources to ensure the technology is available throughout the country."

Today's funding announcement will bring the number of taser units available nationally to about 720. Tasers will be available to frontline police on a case-by-case basis. About 3,500 officers will be trained to use them. 

The funding covers full implementation, including the taser units, audio-video cameras, training, holsters and carriers.