19 Oct 2012

Teenager's family to claim $1m over police shooting

3:14 pm on 19 October 2012

The lawyer for the family of a teenager killed during a police pursuit in Auckland in 2009 says they plan to sue the police for $1 million.

Halatau Naitoko, 17, was killed when two Armed Offenders Squad members were firing shots at Stephen McDonald, who was trying to escape from them.

Mr Naitoko's family has been granted legal aid to sue the police under the section of the Bill of Rights Act dealing with the right to life.

Lawyer Colin Pidgeon says it has received support from an expert on the bill of rights legislation who arrived at the sum it will claim by comparing the case to similar ones overseas.

Hanna Wilberg, senior lecturer at the Auckland University Faculty of Law, says it will be hard for the case to stand up in court.

She says the family's arguments might be supported by overseas cases, but there is not really any New Zealand case law to support them.