“Thousands of New Zealand shooters could still miss out on duck shooting season because of unacceptable delays in processing firearms licencing applications,” says ACT’s Fair Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

Police put out a press release this week claiming they are making “significant progress” in clearing application delays. But figures obtained by ACT show thousands of people are waiting months for both new applications and licence renewals.

“Police have said the most helpful thing to do is apply four months in advance, but the figures we obtained show almost 5,000 applications have taken longer than six months and 1,382 have taken 12 months or longer.

“Duck shooting season starts next week. New Zealand has a proud tradition of hunting and shooting. Duck shooting season for many people is a chance to bond with friends or mates and provide food for the family.

“Law abiding firearms holders in New Zealand have put up with a lot under this Government. They’ve been vilified by many and have handed back firearms that they only ever used responsibly.

“Now as further punishment, many will now miss out on duck hunting.

“After our nation’s tragedy in Christchurch, we needed to get better at vetting, now the system is more broken than ever.”

The below figures obtained by Written Parliamentary Question to the Minister of Police shows how long the delays are:

1 Month or Longer = 8,179

4 months or longer = 6,164

6 months or longer = 4,915

10 months or longer = 2,005

12 months or longer = 1,382