Multiple failings have been discovered in the record keeping of firearms at a police station after nine weapons went missing without a trace.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority today said the two arms officers at North Shore police station not only failed to record when they were brought in but also failed to complete appropriate paperwork.
The firearms were surrendered to police on January 28, 2017 by a man who was served with a temporary protection order.
When a Family Court Judge discharged the order three months later, the man went to get his firearms. However, police couldn't find them.
In its decision, the IPCA wrote that the officer who took possession of the firearms put them in interim storage at the station.
He did not complete the Exhibits register, because he thought it did not apply to surrendered firearms.
CCTV cameras did not capture the entrance to the armoury, and records were not completed as required by policy.
Monthly and six-monthly audits of exhibit management were either not conducted or not conducted to an adequate standard by police during the time the man's firearms were likely to have been held at the centre.
However, in all other respects, the officer sufficiently complied with police policy and standard operating procedures for the surrender and temporary storage of the firearms.
Authority chair Judge Colin Doherty said it wasn't possible to determine what happened to the weapons as "appropriate procedures were not in place to ensure surrendered firearms were properly received, registered, stored, and tracked".
"If the firearms were destroyed, arms officers failed to comply with procedures for destruction."
Police have agreed to compensate Mr X for the missing firearms.
A new process for handling seized and surrendered firearms has been implemented following a Waitemāta District audit conducted in mid-2018 and a CCTV camera has been moved to ensure the entrance to the armoury is captured.
Police are in the process of developing an electronic exhibit management system. The authority has recommended that this system should also apply to seized and surrendered firearms.