On 1st February 2022, new firearms regulations came into effect.

These measures were introduced to improve public safety and prevent firearms from getting into unlicenced hands.

While the new regulations primarily concern the storage of firearms in the home, the fit and proper person test, the information you must provide to police, and different types of firearms licence endorsements, there are new regulations around the transportation of firearms that now apply, and this will impact game bird hunters. Fish & Game advocated on behalf of game bird hunters as Police developed these reforms.

Please make yourself familiar with the new regulations and how they impact you as a game bird hunter. The full details are available on the Police website.

Impact on game bird hunters

The transportation of firearms in a vehicle has been poorly defined in the past, leading to some confusion over the rules.

As of 1 February 2022, if a firearms licence holder is transporting firearms or ammunition in a vehicle on a road or public access way*, you need to know the following:

  • Firearms must be concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
  • Firearms must not be loaded with ammunition in the breech, barrel, chamber or magazine.
  • Of particular note to users of semi-automatic shotguns. The firearms must be made inoperable by removing the bolt or another vital part, and because that is not possible for a semi-automatic, the firearm must be fitted with a trigger lock or travel in a locked case or carry bag.
  • Ammunition must also be hidden from view, stored separately from the firearm, and in a locked glove box or similar area where this is practicable. (The "practicable" inclusion was as a result of Fish & Game advocating around the shotgun ammunition which is bulky, it must still be stored separately)
  • There is also a clear definition around leaving a firearm in an unattended vehicle and what that means.
  • There are specific rules now for the carriage of firearms on an inter-island ferry.

 * The above does not apply to vehicles used on a farm during farm-related duties, or while undertaking legally authorised hunting or wild animal or pest control activities – when the licence holder is in the vehicle with the firearms or in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle in which the firearms are stored.

FGNZ1970A48 copyImportant notice

Fish & Game will always advocate for game bird hunters and bring specific issues related to game bird hunting to the attention of Police and other agencies in law reforms. We were able to have some positive influence on the outcomes of these changes introduced on 1st February 2022.

This page is here as a guide and we encourage you to read and be familiar with all the regulations on the Police website prior to the game bird opening day.