Our intentions: Looking at the firearms buy-back scheme

17 September 2019: After amendments to the Arms Act in April 2019, people who own guns and gun parts that are now prohibited, and people who don't have a valid gun licence, can hand in those guns and parts to New Zealand Police. If they have a valid licence and guns that are now prohibited, they will get compensation. The buy-back scheme is running until 20 December 2019.

In Budget 2019, Vote Police included just over $168 million to fund the firearms buy-back scheme (the buy-back scheme). After the Budget, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) announced that it will contribute $40 million to recognise the injury prevention benefits of the buy-back scheme.

We recognise the significant public interest in the buy-back scheme and therefore have included it in our work programme.

What we’re focusing on

In early 2020, we will report to Parliament on the effectiveness and efficiency of the scheme. In particular, we will report on:

  • how well the buy-back scheme has met its objective to get as many semi-automatic firearms and shotguns covered by the ban out of the community, as quickly as possible, to protect public safety;
  • the safety and ease of process for people attending the gun collection events, and other ways in which guns and parts were collected;
  • whether the costs of the buy-back scheme are accurately accounted for, and whether the benefits of the scheme were maximised, measured, and reported (including the contribution from ACC);
  • how well risks associated with the scheme were managed; and
  • how well the New Zealand Police has reported about the buy-back scheme.

The difference we expect to make

We want our work to provide useful insights to New Zealand Police as the work is carried out. Therefore, we are providing Police with real-time assurance from our appointed auditor.

The auditor is providing the New Zealand Police with regular reports on the effectiveness of project management, data integrity, management and performance reporting, contracts with suppliers, and the logistics of collection processes and events.

We will use the results of the appointed auditor’s assurance work to inform our reporting to Parliament. We expect to report on the buy-back scheme in February 2020.

Henry Broughton, Sector Manager for the New Zealand PoliceThe contact person for this audit is the Sector Manager for the New Zealand Police, Henry Broughton.

Please use the feedback form on the right if you’d like to interview Henry about this audit, make a suggestion, or ask a question.