A sausage sizzle, a good brew and a golden retriever called Angus were enough to make the first firearms and ammunition buyback in Hawke's Bay a fairly relaxed affair throughout the weekend.
Almost 60 gun owners handed over firearms and ammunition in the first of two buyback and amnesty events in Hastings.
The event, held from 10am to 1.30pm, at the Maraekakaho Hall, in Hastings, was labelled a "success" by Eastern District Commander Superintendent Tania Kura.
Another buyback was held on Sunday at Hastings Racecourse on Sunday morning with people showing up as early as 8.40am to hand over their firearms.
Kura said they were pleased with the "steady turnout" and gun owners were greeted by a large, but cordial police presence - with about 12 officers stationed outside who then guided people into the hall.
Similar measures were taken on Sunday, with police team member Angus (the golden retriever) making people feel more than welcome on their arrival at the Hastings Racecourse.
"It's just great to see members of our community come out, we had about 57 people head over to Maraekakaho on Saturday which was fantastic," Kura said.
"The general feeling I've noticed is that people come in feeling a little bit apprehensive because it's an unknown, but the feeling when they leave is positive and that's what we're aiming to achieve."
Kura said the procedure of handing over firearms and ammunition was a "sad process" for some, but believed that police had helped "facilitate the process for them".
"The event was a success and firearms owners have told us the process was a positive one and they were treated respectfully. I'm impressed with the leadership shown by the firearms community - their attitudes were outstanding."
Hastings resident Ross Hunter attended Sunday's event, carrying two large, but empty gun cases out of the racecourse centre.
Hunting for at least 40 years, Hunter said he was disappointed yet understanding of why weapons needed to be handed over.
"For me personally it's a bit of an inconvenience because someone's taken away what I had as rights", he said.
"I've had a firearms licence for 42 years and I've gone through all the laws they've ever changed and now I have to hand them over.
"I understand why, I'm not precious about it, some of them (the guns) are a little bit unique, some of which you'll never get again."
Hunter's collection had included an Armalite rifle and two shotguns with magazine extensions attached.
Kura said more information about the ammunition buyback could be found online, but also recommended that residents talked to others who had already gone through the process if they had worries or concerns.
The Christchurch mosque terror attacks led to the reform of gun laws banning all semi-automatic and military-style weapons.
The gun reform bill also enacted a ban on pump action shotguns with detachable and non-detachable magazines and parts that enable firearms to be converted into more powerful weapons.
Police are supporting firearms owners to hand in either prohibited firearms or firearms under the amnesty at a local collection event as part of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Parts and Magazines) Amendment Act 2019.
The first of 258 nationwide buy-back events was held in Canterbury last weekend, when 378 people dropped off 542 firearms and 578 accessories and compensated gun owners $433,682 for handing in their weapons.
Police will run a number of local collection events until the buyback and amnesty period ends on December 20.
Kura said they want to ensure these changes are as accessible and easy to navigate as possible.
To speed up the process at events, owners need to complete the online form on the police website prior to coming to the event – including listing each firearm and or each individual parts that are being handed over.
HAWKE'S BAY COLLECTION POINTS:
Maraekakaho Hall: September 27, 10am-1.30pm
Napier Army Drill Hall: July 27 and September 6, 9.30am-1.30pm
Waimarama Maraetotara Memorial Hall: July 28, 10am-1.30pm
Porangahau Hall: August 10, 11.30am-2.30pm
Central Hawke's Bay College: August 11, 11.30am-2.30pm
Putorino School: August 17, 11.30am-2.30pm
Tiaho School: August 18, 9.30am-1.30pm
Te Pohue School: August 25, 11:30am-2.30pm
Meeanee Hall: August 31, 9:30am-1:30pm
Matapiro Hall: September 1, 10am-1.30pm
Morere Hall: September 12, 5pm-7.30pm
Eskview Rugby Club: September 22, 9.30am-1.30pm
Poukawa School: September 28, 9.30am-1.30pm
Omatua Girl Guides Camp: September 29, 10am-1.30pm