Can you translate this?
Is that another way of saying “Nothing”?
I am writing to you in response to your request dated 10 August 2020. You wrote:
Police have admitted that their failure to data match with Australia when vetting firearm license applications has resulted in thousands of criminals being given gun licenses.
Police admit that dozens of these offenders have then committed crimes.
Police admit the some have even murdered.
ONE offender had 53 previous convictions before being given a NZ gun license.
He went on to arm a gang with $50,000 of criminally modified firearms.
Mike McIlraith – Head of Firearms for Police at the time – promised me that he would look into this.
After much chasing he promised that the situation was fixed (July 2017).
After much more chasing – the Ombudsman and IPCA made him admit that NOTHING had been done.
Even years after this horror.
Fully four years after this case: “In respect of your IPCA related matter for returning New Zealanders applying for a firearms licence, we are working on our policy”
What has changed since then? It is now three years and one horrific terrorist incident later.
Perpetrated by an unvetted Australian.
What new systems are in place to prevent further horrors?
Police have a suitable fit and proper assessment process in place to determine whether a
licence applicant should be issued a firearms licence. We interview the applicant and
spouse as well as an independent referee. We visit the applicant’s residence. When
required, we carry out other enquiries which at times include health professional checks.
We continue to rely on applicants and their referees to provide all relevant information
during the application process to help with our decision making.
Where we can’t determine fit and proper status, such as for someone that has recently
returned to New Zealand after an extended time overseas or if the person is new to New
Zealand, then their application would not be approved.
These existing processes are further supported by the Arms Act changes provided for in
the Arms Legislation Act that help define (from December 2020) what fit and proper looks like, the inability for a visitor to purchase firearms here for use (export only) if granted a firearms licence, and disqualifying offences.
When an applicant states that they have lived overseas, they will be less likely to be
successful in their application as they may not have suitable people in New Zealand that
know them well enough and for these applicants it is a case of more time in New Zealand
before reapplying and being reconsidered.
All Australian deportees are flagged in Police computer systems, so their backgrounds
are known to us. However, not all Australian convictions are disclosed to New Zealand
Police either by Australian authorities or by the individual.
New Zealand Police relies on information provided by Australian authorities when a
person is deported from Australia. An information sharing Arrangement is in place
between Police and the Australian Department of Home Affairs, under which Police
receives information, including criminal convictions, on people who are deported from
The Arrangement does not cover people who voluntarily leave Australia, for example, where the person has received notice that their visa may be cancelled or where they leave voluntarily without receiving any notice from Australian authorities.
Arms Act Service Delivery Group