A meditation retreat is looking forward to peace and quiet after winning a court case against a large shooting range on the outskirts of Auckland.

The Court of Appeal has upheld the appeal by the trust board of the Vipassana Meditation Retreat at Kaukapakapa against a Certificate of Compliance(CoC) granted by Auckland Council for the shooting range.

The certificate was issued to Raymond O'Brien and his wife Victoria Pilcher in 2016, who built the shooting range on land they own in Kaukapakapa and formed the Auckland Shooting Club, affiliated with Pistol New Zealand.

The meditation retreat, which has provided meditation courses for 30 years and 1.2km away from the shooting range, has taken its fight against the facility to the High Court and Court of Appeal.


Trust spokeswoman Kirsty McKay was delighted with the decision, saying members of the community are looking forward to peace and quiet being restored in the Makarau Valley.

"Of real concern is that Auckland Council staff have known that the Auckland Shooting Club has been operating beyond the terms of its Certificate of Compliance, but have taken no action, or not effective action," she said.

The trust said the court decision removes the ability of the Auckland Shooting Club to operate from its site at Tuhirangi Rd.

The Court of Appeal said the council had insufficient information to allow it to properly access the extent of earthworks for the shooting range, and on that basis the CoC should not have been issued.

The court did not accept other arguments raised by the trust board in relation to the discharge of lead bullets and noise issues from gunfire. The board is considering these aspects of the decision.

Council resource consent manager Ian Dobson said the council is reviewing the judgement and considering the implications.

"As we are now in a formal appeal period, it would be inappropriate for council to comment further at this time," Dobson said.

The Herald is seeking comment from the club and O'Brien.


In 2016, O'Brien, who has competed for New Zealand in pistol shooting events, said club members were responsible, law-abiding and safety-conscious.

"Pistol shooting is a large growing sport. This will be a fantastic asset for New Zealand.

"We want to be good neighbours, very good neighbours, " O'Brien said.