The first of a series of prohibited semi-automatic firearms buy-back and amnesty events across the Bay of Plenty is being held this weekend.
From today, people wanting to surrender their firearms can do so at Ohope Hall until July 21. There will be a similar event at Taupō Vintage Car Club from July 26 to 28.
Between July 19 and September 29 there will be 11 amnesty and buy-back events across the district, including one in Te Puke next month and two each in Rotorua and Tauranga in August and September.
"It's about doing the right thing for the safety of all New Zealand. We want to ensure these changes are as accessible and easy to navigate as possible," Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor said.
"Ultimately, we hope to never see the kind of harm that we know these types of firearms are capable of causing," he said.
McGregor said while firearm owners were not required to register to attend, those who wished to do so needed to complete an online form beforehand.
The scheme ends on December 20.
Some local gun club officials were reluctant to comment on the scheme.
Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty president Darryl Jensen said overall most federation members had "agreed in principle" with the aims of the scheme.
"Our major concern is some of our farmers use these types of firearms for pest control.
"Whether it's possums, rabbits, wallabies, or wild deer, we have a big pest problem in the Bay of Plenty, particularly wallabies in several rural parts of the district, including in Paengaroa and some bush areas in the Rotorua area."
Jensen said some members were quite happy to hand over their prohibited weapons and others they no longer needed or wanted.
"This includes some farmers who bought these type of firearms for hunting decades ago and now only used them a couple of times a year. Or they have had them locked in their gun cabinet for some time and want to take advantage of the buyback scheme."
Federated Farmers rural security spokesman Miles Anderson earlier said the Government's buy-back of now prohibited firearms needed to work for rural firearm owners.
Farmers still needed firearms for pest control, and many were waiting for compensation to buy replacement guns that legally complied, Anderson said.
The federation was pleased compensation of up to $300 would be paid for modifications to make firearms legal, which would address the concern of some members, he said.
Local buy-back collection points in the Bay of Plenty:
• Ohope Hall, Bluett Rd, 9am to 1pm, July 19 to 21.
• Taupō Vintage Car Club, Hickling Park, 9am to 1pm, July 26 to 28.
• Te Puke Sports Club, Atuaroa Rd, 9am to 1pm, August 2 to 4.
• Rotorua International Stadium, Devon St, 9am to 2pm, August 9 to 11.
• Tokoroa Cricket Club, 56 Mossop Rd, 9am to 1pm, August 16 to 18.
• Kawerau Firmin Lodge, Waterhouse St, 9am to 1pm, August 23 to 25.
• Tauranga Stadium Lounge, Bay Park, 9am to 1pm, August 30 to September 1.
• Waiotahi Settlers Hall, 9 Waiotahi Valley Rd, Opotiki, 9am to 12pm, September 6 to 7.
• Rotorua International Stadium, Devon St, Rotorua, 9am to 2pm, September 13 to 15.
• Murupara Sports Pavilion Hall, 48 Pine St, 9am to 1pm, September 20 to 22.
• Tauranga Stadium Lounge, Bay Park, 9am to 1pm, September 27 to 29.
• More details about the buyback scheme are on the police website www.police.govt.nz