February 2018 - Police v G - Auckland District Court - Unlawful possession of a pistol.
G was assaulted by her partner, who left, threatening to return and kill her. G noticed a knife missing from the kitchen and called police. While waiting for police, G, who is a pistol shooter, armed herself with her Glock 17. Police arrived and G gave them the pistol. Self defence is the primary issue for the court to establish.
30 September - 1 October 2017 - The Sika Show, Great Lakes Event Centre, Taupo
I have been instructed by COLFO to attend the show from 10 - 1 pm on both days to speak to and answer questions from the firearms community regarding current court actions and issues in relations to firearms law in New Zealand.
26 September 2017 - I now have 5 active cases filed against the Commissioner of Police, ranging from appeals against the revocation of firearms licences, to issues of interpretation of the law in regards to the return of seized firearms and the importation of firearms for licenced dealers stock in trade.
September 2017 - NZLFD Trust update
I was instructed by the NZLFD Trust to file a notice of proceedings in the Auckland District Court on behalf of NZ Hunter Group Ltd, to determine the legality of the Police interpretation of how an MSSA stock is to be measured. This matter has now been filed. The Notice of Proceedings can be viewed here. I have also been instructed to commence proceedings in the High Court at Auckland in regards to a Judicial Review and Declaratory Judgments Act matter concerning some current Police policies. The statement of claim is now being drafted.
August 2017 - Auckland District Court - PM v The Commissioner of Police
Section 62 appeal filed in regards to revocation of firearms licence and return of seized firearms.
July 2017 - Dunedin District Court
I am acting for an individual who has been charged with unlawful hunting and theft of animals.
July 2017 - DH v The Commissioner of Police - Auckland District Court
Section 62 appeal filed in regards to revocation of firearms licence.
June 2017 - NZLFD Trust update
Preparation for filing a Judicial Review action in August/September 2017 on issues of police ultra vires (beyond their authority) policy decisions and interpretations of the law on i) MSSA measurement; ii) antique firearms; iii) safe and security requirements; iv) mail order forms; and v) conditions imposed on applications for permits to import.
May 2017 - Auckland District Court
Self defence issue - a "B" endorsed, licenced individual armed themselves with a 9mm Glock pistol as protection against a flatmate who had threatened to kill them and was carrying a knife. Set down for Judge alone trial.
April 2017- NZ Police College, Wellington
I was invited to assist in the training of new Police Arms Officers at the NZ Police College in Wellington. This was a great opportunity to share my experiences over the years and to assist in reaching points of commonality and mutual understanding with the New Zealand Police. I appreciated hearing their opinions and perspectives about the future of arms control in New Zealand.
27 February 2017 - The Queen v Blackett & ors
4 week jury trial in the Auckland High Court, involving charges of Kidnapping, Attempted Murder, Sexual Assault and Possession of Restricted Weapons. The "Dome Valley" case. My colleague, Mr Wintour, and I are acting for Julie-Ann Torrance. I am dealing with the restricted weapons charges. View link here.
February 2017 - Burch v The Commissioner of Police
A section 62 appeal filed against the refusal by the police to issue import permits citing the reason 'for dealers stock and trade' is not sufficient.
December 2016 - Legal Opinion
I was instructed by the NZLFD (New Zealand Licenced Firearms Dealers) Trust to give an opinion on the police's new policy of "measuring an MSSA rifle stock". It can be read here.
November 2016 - Waitakere District Court
My client was hunting on his property. He approached a group of youths at his boundary fence who were creating a disturbance and asked for them to move along. One threatened him and he fired a warning shot in the air. He was charged with recklessly discharging a firearm. The charge was withdrawn as the elements of the offence required by the Arms Act were not met in the facts.
November 2016 - Legal Opinion
I was instructed by Pistol New Zealand (PNZ) to write an opinion on the "new" police policy on safes and security for firearms. It can be downloaded here.
October 2016 - Rotorua District Court
My client fell asleep in his car late at night; on the seat next to him was a soft air gun. He was charged with unlawful possession of a pistol. The nature of the wording in the Arms Act 1983 was not compatible with the facts. I persuaded the police to withdraw the charge.
August 2016 - Hamilton District Court
Sentencing - careless use of a firearm causing injury.
August 2016 - Taihape District Court
Judge alone trial - charges of dealer failing to keep a record of dealings and breach of rules in regards to the surrender of firearms to a licenced dealer.
September 2016 - "JM" v The Commissioner of Police - Auckland District Court
S 62 appeal filed at the Auckland District Court against the cancellation of permits to import.
September 2016 - Hyland v The Commissioner of Police - Auckland District Court
S 62 appeal filed at the Auckland District Court against a refusal to issue a firearms licence.
24 - 25 September 2016
COLFO employed me to attend the SIKA show in Taupo to discuss with firearms users their concerns regarding recent police policies and other firearm related issues.
23 June 2016
I was asked to comment about the fundamental differences between US and NZ firearm ownership. Read NZ Herald article here
13 June 2016 - Police v Stevenson - Blenheim District Court
Sentencing for a charge of unlawful hunting. Opposition to revocation of firearms licence and forfeiture of firearms successful.
25 May 2016 - update - Jenner v Commissioner of Police
Judge Cunningham has ordered the police to pay Mr Jenner $10,000 in costs and disbursements.
11 April 2016 - Police v Jordan
Charge of supplying an unlicenced person with 212 firearms. A successful application for dismissal of all charges due to an abuse of process by the New Zealand police and a breach of the Bill of Rights. The Judge dismissed all charges against my client. An IPCA complaint and costs application are currently underway.
11 March 2016 - Newstalk ZB interview
Radio interview regarding the Minister of Police's call for an inquiry into illegal firearms. Listen below.
8 March 2016 - Dale Franklin Jenner v The Commissioner of Police
At Auckland District Court - an appeal pursuant to s 62 against police refusal to issue a firearms licence. The appeal was successful and an application for costs has been made.
I have recently met with COLFO to assist them with challenges to recent police policies that are potentially unlawful and ultra vires their authority. In particular, imposing conditions on import permits and producing a new mail order form.
Media reports in relation to my comments and legal opinion on mail order of firearms.
Read the NZ Herald article / Read the Stuff.co.nz article
2 December 2015
My comments and legal opinion in regards to TV3 journalist Heather du Plessis-Allan's mail order firearm purchase. Comments / Legal Opinion
16 September 2015 - Newstalk ZB interview
I recently gave an interview on Newstalk ZB regarding the police shooting in Myers Park in Auckland. Listen below.
21 August 2015 - ONE News report
One News report including my comment on the calls for arming of police. Read here.
29 July 2015 - New Zealand Herald article
I was asked to comment about the type of weapons found by police in recent raids around New Zealand and the licencing requirements for these guns. Read the NZ Herald article.
July 2015 - update - Neville v The Attorney General of New Zealand
Crown Law are seeking a strike out and/or a summary judgement in the High Court at Auckland. I am opposing the application. Read the latest news report here.
June 2015 - Jenner v Commissioner of Police
An appeal filed against the police's refusal to issue a firearms licence. This case is now proceeding through the Auckland District Court.
February 2015 - David Tipple v Chief Executive of New Zealand Customs
An appeal to the High Court at Auckland in front of Justice Courtney in regards to the seizure of Kimar blank firing pistols. The appeal was successful and costs have been paid to Mr Tipple from NZ Customs in regards to his legal fees and compensation. The full decision can be read here.
January 2015 - update - Jordan v Commissioner of Police
An order for costs against the police has been made by Judge Cunningham. 26 September 2014 - hearing in front of Judge Cunningham in Auckland District Court. This appeal was successful. The full decision can be read here.
August 2014 - Richard Neville v The Attorney General of New Zealand
A claim filed in the Auckland High Court in regards to the police shooting on the northwestern motorway in 2009. Judicial conference at the High Court in Auckland 18 August 2014
July 2014 - Waitakere District Court - charge of unlawful possession of an offensive weapon
A licenced firearms holder was returning in his car from a hunting trip. He was stopped at a roadside breath alcohol checkpoint and the police shone a torch into the back of his car and saw his hunting knife lying on the back seat with his other equipment. They searched his car and he was charged with unlawful possession of the knife. His firearms licence was revoked before the evidence was heard in court. After a hearing the judge dismissed the criminal charge on the basis of an unlawful search and awarded costs against the police. His firearms and his firearms licence were returned.
June 2014 - Wellington District Court - burglary at a gun shop with unsecured firearms taken
A licenced firearms dealer was charged with failing to properly secure MSSA firearms. A burglary occurred at the gun shop overnight and unsecured firearms were taken. A guilty plea was entered to the charge but a successful discharge without conviction application was made before the court. Through negotiation with a police Arms Officer and the Area Commander my client's dealers licence was retained.
March 2014 - Rotorua District Court - a charge of discharging a firearm near a dwelling house
This case involved an individual who stopped at the side of the road in a rural area outside Rotorua and shot several possums. A member of the public complained and my client was charged with discharging a firearm near a dwelling house. After a hearing at the Rotorua District Court my client was found not guilty and retained his firearms licence.
February 2014 - Defended hearing at Hamilton District Court - a prosecution by New Zealand Fish and Game and potential revocation of firearms licence
This case involved a prosecution against an individual who was accused of using an unpinned shotgun to shoot game in the Waikato. After a one-day hearing the court found that the evidence of the Fish and Game rangers was unreliable and my client was found not guilty and retained his firearms licence.
September 2013 - Legal Opinion on changes to the law in regards to military-style semi-automatics (MSSA's)
This opinion can be downloaded here.
August 2013 - Update on Police shooting of Halatau Ki’anamanu Naitoko
Listen to interviews with Radio NZ Checkpoint and Morning Report below, on the police shooting of Halatau Naitoko in regards to my client Richard Neville. For a number of years I have been acting for Mr Neville, the second victim of the police accidental shooting of Halatau Naitoko on Auckland’s northwestern motorway in January 2009. Mr Neville was an innocent bystander who suffered injuries as a result of the police action. The IPCA (Independent Police Conduct Authority) report released in April 2012 criticised Officer 84, saying that his use of the firearm was inaccurate and unsafe under the circumstances. View links here and here. February 2014 - This matter has now been filed in the Auckland High Court in regards to a breach of Mr Neville's civil rights. It is based on a disproportionately severe treatment of Mr Neville by the New Zealand police through a systemic failure in police procedure.
May 2013 - Legal Opinion on the Arms Amendment Act 2012
In response to the hundreds of enquiries I have been receiving from firearms dealers, collectors and shooters nationwide, I have prepared an opinion for wide circulation in order to clarify and assist the shooting public about the upcoming changes to the Arms Act 1983. The opinion may be downloaded here. If you have any queries in regards to this please contact me.
March 2013 - Christchurch District Court - a charge of Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
This involved an incident where a bullet from a rifle fired by my client ricocheted off a back stop and hit a neighbouring house. A successful negotiation with police prosecutions at the court hearing saw the charge reduced to Discharging a Firearm near a Dwelling House and effectively no penalty imposed by the District Court judge.
January 2013 - Manukau District Court - charges of Reckless Discharge of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of a Pistol
I am currently dealing with a matter involving an accidental discharge of a pistol. I negotiated with the police for the Unlawful Possession of a Pistol charge to be withdrawn, arranged for the release of my client’s firearms that were held by police and arranged for a decision in regards to my client’s firearms licence revocation to be delayed until after the end of the court case.
November 2012 - Waitakere District Court - charges of Theft, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Using a Firearm without Lawful Sufficient and Proper Purpose
This involves an allegation of hunting a deer on an Auckland property without permission from the land owner. I am currently negotiating with the police to have all these charges withdrawn as they are technically incorrect at law. I have successfully had my client’s firearms licence returned and my client’s firearms released from police custody.
August 2012 - Customs Appeal Authority Hearing
This is an appeal against the decision of the Minister of Customs to not allow the importation of a number of blank firing pistols into New Zealand by a licenced firearms dealer. I act for the appellant and have instructed an expert armourer to counter the police expert armourer who is supporting the Customs decision that these blank firing pistols can easily be converted to fire live rounds.
April 2012 - Concerns over a long-standing unlawful police practice regarding “hand-in” requirements for obtaining a permit to import
I have recently been asked to comment in regards to the police practice of requiring people to surrender either firearm parts or firearms for destruction in order to obtain a permit to import MSSA’s and their component parts. A colleague is currently appealing this “hand-in” provision in the courts. View link here
April 2012 - IPCA (Independent Police Conduct Authority) report released regarding the shooting of Halatau Ki’anamanu Naitoko
For a number of years I have been acting for Mr Richard Neville, the second victim of the police accidental shooting of Halatau Naitoko on Auckland’s northwestern motorway in January 2009. Mr Neville was an innocent bystander who suffered injuries as a result of the police action. The IPCA report criticised Officer 84, saying that his use of the firearm was inaccurate and unsafe under the circumstances. View links here and here.
February 2012 – High Court, Auckland
Operation Eight - anti-terror raids in Urewera National Park
I am currently acting for Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, one of the four accused in this matter. All have been jointly charged with numerous firearms offences. View links here and here.
February 2012 – Auckland District Court - B v The Commissioner of Police
A successful application in regards to a section 62 appeal. The ruling from Judge Sharp has brought about an immediate change to police procedures in terms of revoking and re-applying for firearms licences.
September 2011 – North Shore District Court
Charges of unlawful possession of an MSSA and assault with intent to injure; Defended hearing.
September 2011 – Auckland District Court
Appeal against revocation of firearms licence.
September 2011 – Wellington District Court
Charges of selling / supplies a restricted weapon to an unauthorized person; Application for discharge without conviction.
August 2011 – High Court, Rotorua
Judicial review; Failure to allow the vacation of pleas.
August 2011 – High Court, Auckland
Sentencing appeal, s44 Arms Act 1983.
August 2011 – Napier District Court
Appeal against refusal to issue a firearms licence.
Operation Eight - anti-terror raids in Urewera National Park
I am currently acting for one of the accused in this matter concerning the police anti-terror raids in the Urewera National Park. There were to be 17 accused, set for trial commencing in February 2012 at the High Court in Auckland. All had been charged with numerous firearms offences. However, after a recent successful appeal to the Supreme Court in regards to the admissibility of the evidence, 13 of the accused have had their charges dismissed. Unfortunately my client was not one of them and we are still proceeding to trial early in 2012. View link here.
Details of other cases currently before the courts:
Unlawful importation of firearms parts
Customs intercepted a parcel that contained an MSSA folding stock. It was labelled as “mechanics jack” and had an incorrect value amount. The individual concerned holds both a C and E endorsed licence. The police executed a search warrant at his home address and found a Ruger Mini 14 in his gun safe, but in the garage found a tin that contained a 30 round magazine. The police placed the magazine in the rifle. He has been charged with being unlawfully in possession of an MSSA and importing without a permit. This matter is currently before the court.
Firearms licence revocation - failing to secure firearms
My client was out shooting on a friends farm in a remote area. He secured his rifle in his car but left his keys in the ignition while he had a cup of tea. The car was stolen by a neighbours teenage son who used the car in a high speed chase. The Police revoked my client’s firearms licence and seized his firearms for failing to properly secure the firearm.
Firearms licence revocation - presenting a firearm, assault
This case involves a dispute with a neighbour involving a firearm. My client heard dogs possibly attacking his stock and took a firearm with him to investigate. The dogs belonged to a neighbour. A confrontation with the neighbour ensued on the road in front of the property and the neighbour was struck in the face with the butt of the rifle. My client’s firearms licence was revoked and his firearms seized. He was charged with assault and presenting a firearm. The matter is currently before the court.
Appeal - refusal to issue firearms licence
My client applied for a firearms licence. The client’s mother is very anti-gun and made a statement concerning drug use to the interviewing Arms Officer. My client strongly denies drug use and medical evidence supports this denial. The Police still refused to issue a firearms licence. This decision is currently being appealed in the District Court.