Exclusive: Gun buyback details revealed

Newshub understands gun owners will not be paid full retail price by the Government for their firearms - but it won't be far off.

The Government is set to announce the full details of the gun buyback on Thursday, and owners of banned firearms could be set for disappointment.

An extensive, lengthy price list will be published, it's understood every single model has been priced, and three price points have been formulated for each.

  • A bottom-end price for guns in poor condition
  • A middle-of-the-road price for those in average condition
  • And a top-end price for near-new guns

Newshub understands that top price will not reflect the recommended retail price of a new firearm.

Police Minister Stuart Nash told Newshub: "I think we've struck a fair balance - I really do."

"We've come up with a comprehensive plan to ensure that people, I think, are fairly compensated. I think we've struck a really good balance."

But people like competitive shooter Brent Millard - who's been waiting months to find out what the Government will pay for his now banned firearms - could be disappointed.

"I sounds like they've just gone and made a decision and they're going to expect 250,000 people to put up with their decision," he told Newshub.

"I'm really concerned about handing them anything, to be honest."

The Government is staying quiet about how guns will be collected. But Newshub understands police will hold "collection events" in large community centres.

For instance, in small towns they could set up in town halls or rugby clubs, while in larger towns it could be stadiums or even racecourses.

"The full scheme will be rolled out tomorrow in great detail," Nash said.

"But what I would say is we really do want to make it easy for people up and down New Zealand, to return their guns, and so police are working with local communities."

In Budget 2019, the Government set aside $150 million to pay for the gun buyback scheme. But Nash says that figure didn't come into play when setting the prices.

"The vast majority of gun owners in this country are good, law abiding citizens. We felt we had to come up with a scheme that earned their trust and confidence; that they didn't feel they were being ripped off in any way, shape or form."

Millard has a message for the Government: "If you don't pay a very good price, then you're not going to get all of the firearms back."

The Governor-General signed off regulations at about 4pm Wednesday giving the police statutory authority to operate the buyback scheme. 

Newshub understand that was the final piece of the puzzle and means collections could start quickly, even as early as within the next couple of weeks. 

As for the logistics of compensation, there will not be wads of cash changing hands at collection events, and the money won't go into accounts overnight.

But Newshub understands it will still be timely - firearms owners will likely wait a matter of days or weeks rather than months, to be paid.