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Firearms in New Zealand: Where to from here?

Ngā Pū i Aotearoa: Ki hea ināianei?

Friday 28 February 2020

Nearly a year after the Christchurch killings, what has been achieved? Join researchers and community members to recognise the achievements of the law reforms and consider future issues arising from the use of firearms in New Zealand.

Hear about the measures included in the firearms legislation, the most recent evidence on issues arising from the use of firearms – and some problems still to be addressed. Issues to be addressed include:

  • The Arms Legislation Bill
  • Domestic violence and animal cruelty: how are firearms used by perpetrators and how has the law been used in practice?
  • Children: should there be an age limit for the use of guns?
  • Culling: How big is the problem? 
  • Are there Bill of Rights issues? Expansion of regulation and intrusion into the pursuits of ‘law-abiding citizens’ and into the communities of those stigmatised as potential law breakers?
  • How do we keep frontline Police and urban communities safe?
  • NRA-lite? Analysing the strategies and rhetoric used by the New Zealand gun lobby
  • What is the likely impact of firearms regulation on Māori and Pacific urban communities?
  • Exploring ideas with community and advocacy groups and probing how firearms impact them and how they think their issues could be addressed

Style of course

Symposium – Single and Multi-speaker presentations and panel discussion

Who should attend?  

This course is aimed at people who are not firearms users who want to know more about the legislation and firearms culture in New Zealand. Firearms users may also attend. People whose work and communities involve firearms, who develop policy and undertake research will find the material covered relevant to their work. No specific prior experience is required.


Time Content Presenter(s)
8:30am Registration  
9:00am Brief introduction, housekeeping  
9:10am Guns: A public health framework and creating a research agenda Hera Cook, University of Otago
9:30am Before, During and After March 15, Christchurch Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato
10:15am Questions  
10:30am Morning tea  
11:00am Ordinary firearms users Don Rood, NZ Deerstalkers Association
11:20am Young men and boys – why gangs? Joe Stone, Napier Family Centre
11:45am New Zealand firearms: The international perspective Philip Alpers, / University of Sydney
12:10pm Questions  
12:30pm Lunch break  
1:30pm Family Violence Death Review Committee Pauline Gulliver, Family Violence Death Review Committee
1:55pm Suicide and mental health, caring for firearms users Ruth Cunningham, University of Otago
2:20pm Advertising and firearms: The public health perspective Louise Signal and Hera Cook, University of Otago
2:45pm Questions
3:00pm Afternoon tea  
3:20pm Islamic New Zealanders and firearms in New Zealand Aliya Danzeisen, Islamic Women’s Association
3:40pm Lead and firing ranges: Caring for firearms users Marie Russell, University of Otago
4:00pm Police Association perspective – on the legislation and frontline police safety Chris Cahill, Police Association
4:20pm Questions
4:30pm Panel and audience discussion – what do we want to know? The research agenda Panel of speakers from the day and audience contributions
5:15pm Open talk: Gun control: Protecting our future with lessons learnt Philip Alpers, / University of Sydney

Teaching staff

Hear presentations from a range of New Zealand experts and researchers.

Course cost and registration

NZ$300 early bird, NZ$400 after 19 December 2019.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged, and University of Otago staff.

Wellington Region Māori and Pacific community members and NGO staff are invited to apply for funding to attend this event. Please apply to

Register now