Our Terms of Reference required us to make findings as to:


whether any relevant [Public] sector agency failed to meet required standards or was otherwise at fault, whether in whole or in part.


We take the view that “required standards” include good practice as it applies to Public sector governance and management. These standards also include adhering to and implementing relevant regulatory frameworks, existing policy, operational guidance and administrative procedures in ways that give effect to their intended purposes.


We find that New Zealand Police failed to meet required standards in the administration of the firearms licensing system in that:

  1. the Arms Manual, the Master Vetting Guide and the Firearms Licence Vetting Guide did not provide coherent and complete guidance as to the processing of applications where the applicant could not provide a near-relative referee able to be interviewed in person;
  2. New Zealand Police did not put in place arrangements to ensure that firearms licensing staff received systematic training and regular reviews of their practice; and
  3. in dealing with the individual’s firearms licence application, New Zealand Police did not adequately address whether gaming friend and their parent knew the individual well enough to serve as referees.