By Andrew McRae of rnz.co.nz
The Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom says planned changes to gun legislation are racist, undemocratic and poorly thought out.
It made a submission to Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee in Hamilton on Thursday.
It was the first time the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom had made a submission to a select committee.
Mob spokesperson Louise Hutchinson said the mob agreed in wake of the Christchurch tragedy, the current arms act needed to be revisited, but the proposed changes were a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that should have been addressed years ago.
"We believe the arms legislation bill has been written in haste and we do not believe that the content of the legislation enacted in its current state will make Aotearoa a safer place."
She said the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom was concerned there was a rush to change the firearms legislation and the need to be seen as doing something without due consultation.
"It is a shortcutting of New Zealand's democratic process which will indirectly put our immediate whānau and our whānau outside of the Waikato region at a higher risk than any other New Zealand community because of poorly written [and] thought-out legislation, which will have mistakes, errors and omissions.''
Ms Hutchinson said many Māori did not understand the content of the legislation and they would continue to be a stick to beat which essentially would see "Māori being the prime targets, particularly our gang communities, of this legislation".
"Albeit to say this legislation is racist in its intent."
Ms Hutchinson said the period after a mass shooting was often very telling.
"When the shooter is white, the context is the individual narrative, this individual disordered white mind. When the shooter is brown, all of a sudden the disorder is culture."
She said that while people often said getting rid of guns would stop mass shootings, that was not the case.
"Guns aren't the problem, people are the problem. Guns don't kill, it's people that kill people."
Ms Hutchinson said it's the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom's contention that the targeted focus of the bill had turned from the alleged perpetrator of the Christchurch massacre to the non-white community.
She told the select committee that all shooting massacres in New Zealand have all but one been carried out by white perpetrators.
Ms Hutchinson said outside the hearing that the select committee process itself was racist and that the mob did not have confidence in it.
"It's a very intimidating process and the set up is not a tikanga based way of doing it and there has not been any consultations with gang communities so inherently it is a racist process."
Ms Hutchinson said the process should have been taken out into Māori communities with hui as a way of consulting Māori under the Treaty of Waitangi.
She said the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom have had meetings with police iwi liaison officers about complying with changes to the gun laws.
"Cooperating with authorities and even there is a chance for the kingdom to upskill their people in terms of firearms and what are their rights and what do they need to be aware of because we know that they will be targeted if this legislation is passed."