Two police pistols have gone missing while being couriered from north of Auckland to Wellington.
The police-issue Glock pistols - sent from Warkworth station in December - have not yet reached the police armoury in Wellington.
"We can't jump to conclusions here. All we can really say is they are missing," said Inspector Tom Ireland, police operations and projects manager.
"Whether they have been misplaced or they have been targeted and stolen, we don't know.
"We are robustly looking at our processes and scrutinising whether there is any better way of doing it, but maybe there is no better way of transporting them [firearms]."
The pistols had been disassembled before being sent.
They were dispatched in separate parcels on consecutive days, but both are missing.
Neither of the individual parcels contained enough components to construct a working pistol, but with the parts in each parcel a pistol could be assembled, Mr Ireland said.
Weapons were couriered around 10-20 times a year for repair and maintenance, in a way that complied with all government regulations about transporting firearms, he said.
"In all the years of transporting firearms around the country, this is the first time one has gone missing."