I am writing to you in response to your request dated 3 May 2020. You asked for:
1. How many guns were secured as part of the buy back?
2. How many others were surrendered?
3. How many were destroyed?
4. How many were kept?
5. List items kept and reason.
Your request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act).
Questions 1 and 2: As per information publicly available on the Police website, and
provisionally up to date as of 20 February 2020, Police collected 52,597 firearms under
the Buyback, and 5,119 under the Amnesty. Police is also currently in the process of
finalising additional data sets for publishing on the Police data website.
Police has also provided updated number for two particular data sets, those being
number of firearms collected, and number of firearms modified. These numbers were
provided to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on 27 May 2020, the full
evidence text for which can be found at the below link. These numbers are up to date as
of 20 May 2020, and show 58,907 firearms have been collected, and 4,819 firearms have
Question 3: As I hope you can appreciate, with P endorsement applications, unique
prohibited item (UPI) hand ins, and modifications still to be finalised, providing the exact
number of firearms destroyed to date presents significant difficulty. This remains an
organic data set subject to change, and will remain so until such time as all outstanding
applications for hand in, through any channel, are completed.
It is standard Police process that all firearms will be destroyed, unless there remains a
dispute, or the process through one of the additional hand in channels has not yet been
Questions 4 and 5: As you were previously advised in response to OIA IR-01-19-32542,
Police retain firearms for one of two main purposes, either for National, Cultural or
Historical Significance (NCHS) or for inclusion in the Police armoury.
As you were advised in that response, as at 28 November 2019, Police held 38 NCHS
and 36 Armoury firearms. As of 12 May, 37 firearms are held for NCHS and 186 for the
Armoury’s reference library. Both of these numbers are live and subject to possible
For this reason, I am refusing your request asking for a list of the items kept at this time, under section 18(f) of the Act, as it would require substantial collation and research.
Police still require final decisions to be taken on a number of items as well as
reconciliation between national and district holdings of these firearms, and require any
final collections to be carried out. It is Police intention that this information once finalised will be able to be released.
Police intend to hold a Unique Prohibited Items panel meeting in mid-June, at which final decisions on which NCHS firearms to retain will be taken. Around this time also, the
Armoury should be able to provide a final breakdown of the firearms it intends to retain.
That is the current intention, beyond which I cannot provide an exact timeframe on when this information will be available for release.
You have the right to ask the Ombudsman to review my decision if you are not satisfied
with Police’s response to your request. For your information, Police has developed a process for proactive release of information,
so the anonymised response to your request may be publicly released on the New
Zealand Police website.
Arms Act Service Delivery Group