National, ACT blast Government after gun buyback privacy breach

The Opposition is calling for Police Minister Stuart Nash to resign after a major privacy breach involving the police gun buyback database.

The web page allows people to notify police they have a prohibited firearm or related item. But earlier on Monday, it was revealed there had been a privacy breach which made gun owners' details available online - including names, addresses, dates of birth, and bank account numbers.

National's Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says the breach to the firearm buyback programme is "incredibly serious".

"Kiwis should be able to have confidence in the agencies holding their personal data. Even more concerning is that the data breached includes bank account numbers and details around the firearms owned," he says.

"How can New Zealanders have confidence in the firearms register the Government is proposing when they can't even protect their personal details in their buyback scheme?"

ACT Party leader David Seymour says Nash now needs to step down.

"The safety of law-abiding firearms owners has been endangered by this data breach and the Police Minister must resign. Stuart Nash bears ultimate responsibility for the actions of his agency," Seymour says.

"This kind of incident is exactly why a firearms register is a terrible idea and why ACT has opposed it from the start.

"Centralising this information within an agency which has shown time and again that it cannot be trusted to manage it cannot be allowed to proceed."

An example of the breach.
An example of the breach. Photo credit: Council of Licenced Firearms Owners / Supplied

Hudson agrees that Nash "needs to take responsibility" - adding this isn't the first significant data breach under this Government.

"His Government put the buy-back scheme together. It has failed to protect New Zealanders' private and very sensitive information. It has failed to deliver a secure environment for personal data," he says.

"In this year of delivery, all Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Government can deliver are privacy breaches."

And Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters tweeted the privacy breach is "concerning".

"Need to know security will be maintained moving forward with reforms," he wrote.