Sadly, GA terrorism hysteria hits New Zealand

In this story on one of New Zealand's news websites, a paragraph near the end has concerned me. To recap for those who might read this after the above link is no more, on Saturday evening New Zealand time a Piper Warrior was stolen from an uncontrolled field (Ardmore) in southern Auckland (NZ's largest city which is 127km north of Hamilton). It was flown around the city for about an hour before the alarm was raised. The pilot was a man in some emotional distress who at the time told ATC that he intended to crash the Warrior into the Sky Tower. Eventually he ditched into the Waitemata Harbour and swum ashore, where he was taken to Hospital under Police guard. The pilot who was a former instructor for the school who owned the aircraft he stole was upset after his wife had left him.

Now the part of the article which I am very worried about is as follows:

"Auckland University political studies terrorism expert Paul Buchanan said the incident provided lessons about security and communications.

It was of concern that light aircraft could be taken so easily and that police could not speak directly to the pilot, he said. "Civil Aviation doesn't have anyone who can talk down a suicidal person...(and) find out the motive and what he intends to do."

It was not clear who would make decisions about stopping rogue aircraft, if shooting one down was possible, Dr Buchanan said.

The drama got more headlines around the world than the election. Most reports were a straight news story, but Greek news agencies reported a wave of panic in Auckland and South India's Star of Mysore headlined its story Man Warns of a 9/11."

Now the last thing we need is panic. I can tell all concerned that there was no wide spread public hysteria in Auckland city. More people were tuned into the national elections than were watching what was unfolding above them. The Police and the CAA will investigate and will hopefully come up with a measured reaction to stop this sort of thing happening again.

The press talk about shooting down aircraft in this situation but wouldn't that cause damage and possibly civilian casualties anyway? There is no right way to deal with this situation but shooting first and asking questions later is definitely NOT the way to go.