A conservative Christchurch pastor has lashed out at what he calls the "totalitarian state" of New Zealand after police raided his house on New Year's Eve, seizing a rifle, gun parts and ammunition.
Carl Bromley, the founder of the Life Connection Missionary Baptist Fellowship, was notified via letter and voicemail of the raid but only discovered he'd been targeted when he returned home in the early hours on New Year's Day.
In a video posted to social media, Bromley said police had "vandalised" his house, violating his and his wife's privacy. He also claimed police told him they carried out the raid because a member of the public had expressed concern that he was a "threat".
In a statement, police confirmed to Newshub they had "received information relating to concerns around an individual's wellbeing and the likelihood the man was armed".
"Further inquiries by Police resulted in sufficient evidence to enter the property under Section 18 of the Search and Surveillance Act, and ammunition and firearms were seized. Efforts were made to contact the male but these were unsuccessful."
Under Section 18 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, police can enter and search a place where they suspect an offence against the Arms Act 1983 has been committed and the person is incapable of having proper control of a firearm, or may kill or cause injury to someone.
Bromley told Stuff there had been no complaints about him in regard to firearms in the past and claimed he does not have a criminal history.
But he has certainly had run-ins with police before. In August 2021 he accosted several officers after he was confronted over hosting a church service during the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown.
Bromley's service went ahead, but it wasn't clear how many others were in attendance. He told Newshub at the time that it was a "small" group of people.
Posting footage of his encounter with the officers to social media, Bromley said at the time the Government was "seeking to rape me of my God-given right to worship Christ" and should be ashamed.
Police told Newshub no arrests were made or infringements issued as a result of the incident.