Gun-owners are leaving satisfied from New Zealand's first Government buyback event.

Dozens of owners have come through Christchurch's Riccarton Racecourse showroom since the buyback began at 10am.

Police say so far 97 firearms have been handed in, as well as 94 parts and accessories.

"The amount compensated to firearms' owners today has been $204,721 as of around 12.30pm," acting Canterbury district commander Mike Johnson said.


The event today is one of 258 events that will run across the country over the next 3 months.

"Police recognise that this is a big change for the law abiding firearms community and we are hearing really positive feedback from people as they come through today that they are finding the process works well for them," Johnson said.

"For those firearms owners in the Christchurch area who haven't been to the Collection event we will be open until at least 3pm today and tomorrow from 10am-3pm at Riccarton Racecourse."

One gun owner - who wants to remain anonymous - says he didn't have much faith going in.

"I was selling my hunting firearm - it's a semi automatic. I got $13,000 for it."

Gun owners at the racecourse. Photo / RNZ
Gun owners at the racecourse. Photo / RNZ

He says he's happy with that, as it was a very expensive purchase.

"I didn't think this would be a fair process at all - I wasn't particularly happy about it. But the outcome was good and they handled it well."

Another man, who handed in his SKS semi automatic, says the entire process was painless - and the wait was pretty short.


"You show up, they give you a number and call you up one at a time. They've got a gunsmith on site who goes over it with you - and I reckon they're being pretty fair."

A police spokesperson says they've only had one dispute over price so far, and it was able to be peacefully resolved.

But not everyone is happy.

One seller says most of the people he's spoken to are responsible gun owners - and annoyed they have to be there at all.

But he says he can't fault how police are handling the unique and new situation.

"I think the Government is over-reacting, and police are having to mop up the mess they've made."