A man who accidentally shot a friend in the thigh has pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm causing bodily injury.

Dempsey Tiwai Tutahanga Broad was driving along Whanganui River Rd on April 13 with his partner and child, and he stopped at someone's property.

While Broad was there, the victim drove past, and spotting Broad, came back to talk to him, police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen told Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

The pair spoke about hunting and the discussion turned to guns, with Broad saying he had bought a new firearm, Ms Willemsen said.


The victim asked if he could see the gun, so Broad grabbed it from the footwell of his car, where it was in a soft case.

He removed the .223 bolt-action rifle and turned towards the victim. As he did so, the gun discharged and the victim was struck in the right thigh.

As an ambulance was called, Broad immediately unloaded the gun and "surrendered it to the owner of the property they were outside".

The victim was in Whanganui Hospital for two days and required surgery on his leg. The bullet had fragmented in his leg, Ms Willemsen said.

Broad pleaded guilty and was remanded to July 20 for sentencing. Judge David Cameron referred the case to restorative justice.