Tauranga leaders have weighed in on the Government's calls to ban semi-automatic rifles.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed that New Zealand's gun laws would change following the Christchurch mosque massacre while speaking to media on Saturday.

"While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun licence and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now; our gun laws will change," she said

Attorney-General David Parker also said the Government would ban semi-automatic rifles while speaking to a crowd gathered for a vigil at Auckland's Aotea Square, the New Zealand Herald reported on Saturday.


Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless "absolutely supported" the Prime Minister's calls to ban semi-automatic guns following the Christchurch tragedy.

"I see no reason why anyone would have any need to have a semi-automatic weapon."

He said that banning semi-automatic guns would only be part of the solution - a change of societal attitude was also needed.

He pointed to "increasing nastiness" on social media as one aspect of the issue.

"People don't just disagree any more - they launch into vitriolic attacks.

"People don't just have civil discussions any more."

Tauranga's Labour list MP Jan Tinetti said she was "totally on board" with the Prime Minister's and Attorney-General's comments.

She expected discussion regarding gun laws to happen this week.

National Party leader and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said it wasn't entirely clear what the Government was proposing yet but National would contribute to the discussion when the time came.

There was a lot of complexity to the issue and many ideas on how best to deal with it, and it was important to look into whether this tragedy could have been reasonably foreseen and prevented, he said.

A spokesman for Kaimai Pistol Club said the club range had been closed on Sunday out of respect.

"While we use guns in sport, this has hit us as people."

He said it's up to the politicians and gun experts to make the call on whether guns should be banned.

"Whatever is decided, we will comply."

He generally thought the vetting process for getting a gun licence was "pretty good" and there were strict laws surrounding pistol use.

"My pistol can only be legally used at three places - at home, at the range and at the gunsmith for repairs."