Police deem first rural gun buyback event a success

The first rural gun buyback event has seen more than 40 people surrender their guns and accessories.

The event was held in Waipu, with provisional police figures showing 68 firearms and 122 parts and accessories were handed in.

Acting District Commander for Northland Inspector Chris McLellan said police were pleased.

"The event was a success and the conversations our staff had with firearms owners were positive and engaging."

He said a large group of them arrived early, with the majority arriving in the first hour.

"People came from across a number of different areas to surrender their firearms and wanted to take the opportunity to do the right thing."

A recent Federated Farmers survey showed that at least 20 percent of members had a firearm impacted by the new regulations.

Rural security spokesperson Miles Anderson told Newshub earlier the scheme needed to recognise the needs of those who live in more remote rural locations. 

"The buyback was likely to be underway at the busiest time of year for farmers," said Anderson. 

"With calving and lambing approaching, the last thing they need at that time of year is a lengthy trip to a major centre to dispose of a firearm."

Anderson said farmers still needed firearms suitable to undertake pest control. 

The Waipu event was one of 258 gun buyback events which will run across the country over the next three months.