Two questions remain unanswered following gun buyback scheme - report

The Auditor-General's report into the Government's gun buyback scheme has found it was organised and well run, but two questions remain unanswered.

How many prohibited weapons remain in circulation and is New Zealand safer as a result?

Police Minister Stuart Nash is confident the gun buyback was a success.

"The bottom line is you can't buy these guns anymore and New Zealand is a much safer place," Nash says.

The buyback scheme was implemented after the Government banned military-style and semi-automatic weapons like those used by the gunman in the Christchurch Mosque attacks.

Just over 60,000 guns were handed in and $103 million paid out.

The report commended the police on a well-organised process and effective management. And Nash says he doesn't believe the police could've done anything better.

However, the report found the cost for police to administer the process blew out to $35 million - almost double the original estimate.

There are concerns from politicians now about how many prohibited firearms are still in circulation.

ACT leader David Seymour doesn't believe the buyback scheme has made New Zealanders safer.

"It's used a huge amount of funds that have come out of other causes, and probably made us less safe by eroding trust with the firearm community and driving firearms underground, " he says.

National Party police spokesperson Brett Hudson is also unsure if the country is safer.

"They can't actually say if there was value for money in the program or whether it delivered the objective which was stated as making New Zealand safer."