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Buyback: 166 guns returned to police

Wairarapa Area commander Inspector Scott Miller and Detective Senior Sergeant Haley Ryan. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

Buyback handled well

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Wairarapa gun-owners flocked to Featherston on Saturday, for the first of the region’s gun buyback events.

But some say the move will have no impact on criminals – “they’ve just disarmed the law-abiding citizens”, one gun-owner said.

The Masterton gun collector, who did not wish to be named, handed in 10 firearms, primarily collectors’ items or ones used for sports shooting – all of them were registered.

Most of the prices were fair, but he only got back $4000 for some firearms which he had originally bought from $8000 to $12,000, he said.

He was also doubtful of how effective the new gun laws would be in preventing another attack like in Christchurch.

“[The police] don’t know how many guns they haven’t collected.”

However, he said he was impressed by how knowledgeable the police staff were in the buyback process, many were ex-defence or collectors themselves.

“The process was actually better than I expected.”

Wellington Inspector Terry van Dillen, who helped oversee the event, said they had people waiting at the Featherston Anzac Hall before it was set to open up at 10am.

“We’ve had the normal Saturday morning rush. Sundays tend to be a bit quieter,” he said.

He estimated they had more than 70 gun-owners attend on Saturday, handing in up to 100 firearms.

By Sunday, 166 firearms, and more than 800 parts and accessories had been collected.

Wairarapa Area commander Inspector Scott Miller had attended along with several other Wairarapa police officers.

He said the majority of gun-owners had been “very positive” and the numbers had really come in for South Wairarapa.

While many of the gun-owners were doubtful that the gun buyback scheme and proposed law reform would make New Zealand safer, many were impressed by the efficiency of the process.

All those spoken to by the Times-Age requested that their comments be published anonymously as they did not wish to be named.

A Greytown gun-owner was doubtful of the impact of the buyback, and said the registration system was “going to be a bigger shambles”.

Another gun-owner from South Wairarapa said the process had been “well-handled” and he was happy with the valuation of his gun.

A keen hunter from South Wairarapa said he had been paid more than he expected.

He received $1120 for the two used firearms he handed in.

“I think a lot of people are really wary about it, but it’s not so bad,” he said.

Another gun-owner was very disappointed by the amount he received for the four guns he handed in.

The guns used primarily for sports were worth more than the $15,000 he got back, he said.

“It’s not what I had hoped for.”

The next two collection events will be held at the Masterton Smallbore Rifle Club on Cole St on August 17-18 and September 7-8, also from 10am-3pm.

Before going to a collection event, people are asked to go to the police website and complete the online notification form to help speed up the process.

More information about the process can be found online at police.govt.nz or by calling 0800 311 311.


  1. Of all the gun offenses in the last five years how many where committed by licenced gun owners verses unlicensed ?

  2. I am impressed by the mature and reasoned attitude of New Zealanders as they hand in their weapons. None of us want to see another atrocity like happened in Christchurch. Most kiwis are good people and the way gun owners are handing in their weapons, proves that. Good on them. Genuine hunters can apply for a licence for an appropriate weapon for deer hunting or pig hunting etc.

    • They are permanently disabled by being bent about 3 times in a hydraulic ram. To be shredded at a metal recyclers later.

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