Auckland gun club closed after dispute with frightened neighbours

A meditation retreat is overjoyed its customers can contemplate in peace after the closure of a nearby gun club.

It follows a lengthy dispute between the Auckland Shooting Club and its neighbours, some of whom claim they've been intimidated by members.

Vipassana Meditation Centre spokesperson Sarah Colquhoun says the piercing sound of gunfire booming down the valley was upsetting.

"To have the sound of gunfire ricocheting around the hills is completely counter to what we are doing here."

But there was a win for the meditation centre this week in the Court of Appeal, which overturned the club's Auckland Council issued code of compliance over concerns about major earthworks.

The gun club and locals have been locked in a dispute since 2016 when the club was granted consent to build a range near the meditation centre, built more than 30 years ago.

"They should never have issued the code of compliance without notifying, without consulting at all with the neighbourhood who are all against it," said Colquhoun.

Protest signs line the road leading up to the shooting range.

Protester James Tattersfield says he's not anti- guns, but he's against the constant deafening sound of shots being fired.

"It gets to you, and I'm sure it affected a lot of people."

He also alleges the day after the Christchurch attack was the loudest he had heard the shots.

"It shows complete disrespect for what had happened - it's just they're completely divorced from reality. It's just crazy."

Tattersfield claims signs he's put up have been removed, while others say they have felt intimidated voicing their concerns about the range.

One neighbour even claims they had a swastika spary painted onto their fence.

The club's spokesperson reportedly said the allegations are shocking, and he doesn't know anyone from the club who would intimidate.

The president has resigned since the Court of Appeal decision, and the club's Facebook page and website say it is now closed.

But neighbours remain sceptical, saying in the past when the code of compliance for the club has been temporarily revoked, the shooting has continued.

Police say they have received complaints from both the gun club and locals, but no criminal activity has been identified.


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