Proactive release of papers: Arms Regulations Review of Fees 2022

Proactive release of papers: Arms Regulations Review of Fees 2022

Date Published: 
October 2023

On 8 December 2022, NZ Police, released a discussion document for public consultation that seeks the views of licence holders and the general public on options and proposals for fees applying to licensing, permitting and regulatory approval provided for in the Arms Act 1983.

Licence fees were last set in 1999 and, other than GST adjustments, haven’t increased since then. For more than 20 years the cost of firearms licensing has been increasingly subsidised by the taxpayer as costs have risen. Some services of direct commercial and private benefit, such as applications for import permits, are delivered for free.

A greater contribution towards the cost of providing regulatory services (licences, endorsements, permits, approvals) is being sought. Any decision on proposed new fees will need to be made by Cabinet following submission analysis.

Police has proactively released documents relating to information on the methodology for determining the proposed fees, costings of firearms licences and dealer’s licences, and the relevant Cabinet paper and minute approving the release of the discussion document.

Earlier this year, an independent audit of fees was undertaken by Ernst and Young (EY) of Police’s Fee Revenue Model and to assess Police’s estimated recoverability of costs against the provisions of the Act.

The Review confirms the cost model was sufficiently accurate to not overestimate the fees and may have underestimated them.

EY found most of Police’s cost recoverability assumptions used in determining the total level of recoverable costs are consistent with the provisions of the Arms Act and are not unreasonable.

Where Ernst and Young disagree with the way we have handled any cost assumptions, they believe these differences will not have a material impact on the proposed fees figures recently consulted upon:

“Considering the vast majority of costs relate to recoverable activities, this should not have a material impact.” (see page 7 of EY Report)

EY have found that the Cost Recovery does not include certain overhead costs currently covered by NZ Police - things like infrastructure costs, and information and communications technology (“ICT”) systems.

It is EY’s view that these costs may well have been recoverable and therefore total recoverable costs could have been higher than those actually included in the cost model:

“These excluded costs… may be recoverable and therefore total recoverable costs could be higher than those included in the Cost Recovery Model.” (see page 7 or EY Report).

These documents are available to read below.

For information relating to the establishment of Te Tari Pūreke, including the indicative and detailed business cases, please refer to Proactive release of information about the establishment of Te Tari Pūreke.


On 16 October 2023, Police has proactively released documents relating to information to repealing a tagged contingency requirement that required new fees to be implemented by 1 July 2024. This provides more time for Cabinet to make decisions on firearm fees.  

These documents are included below with some redactions:

  • Cabinet Government Administration and Expenditure Review Committee Minute of Decision.
  • Arms Safety and Control Tagged Contingency