“With the roar, tahr culling and duck hunting season just around the corner, the time it’s taking to get a firearms licence keeps getting longer,” says ACT’s Firearms Law Reform spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“There are 2694 people currently waiting 12 months or more for their licence to be processed. That’s an increase of 1,367 than this time last year. A year ago, Police put out a press release saying they making “significant progress.” The reality is they’re going backwards.

“ACT has spoken to one person who runs a hunting adventures company. He’s had radio silence from the Police for four months and in the meantime has lost contracts and can’t take part in the tahr cull.

“With the cost of living through the roof – many people rely on hunting to feed their families. That’s the reason I learnt to shoot, to feed my family.

“New Zealand has a proud tradition of hunting and shooting. Duck shooting season and the roar for many people is more than putting food on the table, it is also a chance to bond with friends or mates, essential for maintaining good mental health.

“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 over firearms that they only ever used responsibly.

“Now as further punishment, many will now miss out on duck hunting, the roar and the tahr cull, some for the second year in a row.

“Police Minister Poto Williams has been missing in action. She needs to step up and ensure Police have the resources they need and tell them to get on with making sure processing happens.

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