Submit your application at least 4 months before you expect to arrive in New Zealand.
What the visitor firearms licence allows
A visitor firearms licence allows you to use firearms for hunting or competitions in New Zealand.
Visitor firearms licence lifespan
A visitor firearms licence lasts until the end date specified on the licence. The end date of your licence is your planned departure date from New Zealand.
Permits to import
New Zealand Police does not allow you to bring into the country without a permit:
- firearm parts
Prohibited firearms and parts
Certain firearms and parts are prohibited in New Zealand. You cannot bring into this country:
- semi-automatic firearms*
- pump-action shotguns that can be used with a detachable magazine
- pump-action shotguns that have non-detachable tubular magazines or magazines that cannot hold more than five cartridges
- centrefire pump-action rifles that can be used with detachable magazines
- centrefire pump-action rifles that have one or more non-detachable magazines (tubular or otherwise) that can hold more than 10 cartridges.
- semi-automatic firearms:
- capable of firing only 0.22 calibre or lower rimfire cartridges
- with magazines capable of holding no more than 10 cartridges
- without lower receivers that can be attached to a centrefire upper receiver to result in a firearm that can function
- semi-automatic shotguns with non-detachable tubular magazines or magazines that cannot hold more than 5 cartridges
- small semi-automatic pistols
For details of the firearms, magazines, and parts that are prohibited in New Zealand, see the Arms Act 1983, sections:
Who can apply for a visitor firearms licence
To apply for a visitor firearms licence, you must:
- be 16 years of age or older
- usually live outside New Zealand
- plan to stay in New Zealand for less than a year
Before you get a visitor firearms licence, Te Tari Pūreke must find:
- you are a fit and proper person to have and use firearms in New Zealand
- you have a firearms licence or an equivalent from your home country
- your home country has firearms safety and licensing practices similar to New Zealand's
- you have secure storage for your firearms and ammunition in New Zealand
Before you get a visitor firearms licence, Te Tari Pūreke must find no-one has access to your firearms and ammunition in New Zealand who has either:
- had a firearms licence revoked
- been disqualified from having a firearms licence, or
- been found not fit and proper to have and use firearms
You cannot get a visitor firearms licence if you:
- plan to stay in New Zealand for more than a year
- plan to emigrate to New Zealand
In these circumstances, you must apply for a New Zealand firearms licence
What you must tell us when you apply for a visitor firearms licence
In your licence application, you must give details of:
- the purpose of your visit
- the firearm activities you will participate in.
Te Tari Pūreke assesses the firearms you want to bring into New Zealand. We do this to make sure you have the right permits and endorsements for your visitor firearms licence, and that your firearms are approved for use in this country.
In your application, you must also give details of all firearm parts, including magazines. Any part of a firearm now requires a permit to be brought into New Zealand.
Visitor firearms licence holders may bring into New Zealand only:
- standard hunting rifles and shotguns
- pistols, in limited instances, for pistol competitions.
You must select the types of firearm you intend to use in New Zealand from a list of standard firearms and give their details:
- action type
- ammunition type
- serial number
Secure storage and locations
You must have storage Te Tari Pūreke has found safe and secure for the firearms and ammunition you use in New Zealand, whether they are your own or borrowed.
In your visitor firearms licence application, you must give details of the New Zealand firearms licence holders who will store your firearms and ammunition. You will need to provide:
- their firearms licence numbers
- their names, addresses, and email addresses
Firearms safety test
As part of your application, you must take a multi-choice safety test based on the arms code
Before you begin
Before you begin your online application, you will need to:
- be prepared to pay for your visitor firearms licence fee of NZ$25.
- study the New Zealand Police Arms Code - you are required to complete an online theory test as part of your application.
- have a recent photo of yourself that is a good likeness of you. See Photo requirements for more information.
- provide a scanned copy of your passport ID page.
- provide a scanned copy of your firearms licence or similar certification from your home country.
- demonstrate you have made security arrangements for the safe storage of all firearms that you will be using (regardless of whether they are your own firearms or firearms that you intend to borrow while in New Zealand).
- provide the details of the New Zealand firearms licence holder(s) (with a current licence) that you will be storing firearms with while you are in New Zealand.
Check you have the following:
In your application, you must include:
- a recent, good quality digital photo that is a good likeness of you.
- a scanned copy of your passport identity page.
Firearms licence from your home country
You must include a scanned copy of your firearms licence or equivalent certification from your home country.
Some countries and other jurisdictions, like some states of the US, do not issue firearms licences. If you are from a country or state that does not issue firearms licences, you must have a document that shows:
- you can legally own a firearm in your home country
- you are trained in the safe use of firearms.
- hunting permit
- concealed carry permit
- hunter education certificate.
Steps to applying online
Web browser capability
The Police online visitor licence application system will perform best using the latest web browser versions of:
1. Log in with RealMe or create a RealMe login.
2. Complete the application form.
- You can save an incomplete application and log in again to complete it later.
3. Upload your digital photo and scanned copies of your supporting documents:
- passport-style photo
- passport identity page
- firearms licence from your home country
4. Pay the application fee by credit card.
Submit your application at least 4 months before you expect to arrive in New Zealand.
Once the authority has approved your application, you can only make minor changes to your arrival and departure dates on your licence.
If you change your actual arrival or departure dates, you must apply again and pay another fee.
Te Tari Pūreke sends you an email with our decision.
If we approve your application, the email includes the conditions that apply.
If we refuse your application, we tell you why.
Arrival in New Zealand
When you arrive in New Zealand, New Zealand Police issues to you:
- your visitor firearms licence
- your permit, if you have one, to import firearms
Your visitor firearms licence starts and ends on the dates specified on the licence. These dates are your New Zealand arrival and departure dates.
If you arrive by air go to the NZ Police station or counter at the airport.
If you arrive by sea, go to the nearest Police station.
New Zealand Police checks:
- your passport
- your firearms licence from your home country
- the firearms you applied to bring into New Zealand
You can bring only the firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition your permit specifies. These are also specified in the email with our approval of your firearms licence application.
You must declare all firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition to New Zealand Customs.
New Zealand Customs seizes firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition we have not permitted you to import.
Departure from New Zealand
Taking your firearms out of New Zealand is a condition of your visitor firearms licence.
New Zealand Police checks when you depart from New Zealand you take the firearms you brought into the country.
If you depart by air go to the NZ Police station or counter at the airport.
If departing by sea, go to the nearest Police station.
To export your firearms from New Zealand, you must have an export permit or, if you are exempt from an export permit, a notification of export.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade issues permits to export firearms
Export permits and exemptions are administrated by the ministry's export controls team
A fit and proper person:
- is a person of good conduct and character
- possesses and uses firearms responsibly
- stores firearms securely
- abides by the laws of New Zealand
When Te Tari Pūreke assesses if you are a fit and proper person, we consider:
- your overall character and conduct
- information provided by you and your referees
- information we hold or receive from any source
The Arms Act 1983 gives some circumstances in which Te Tari Pūreke may find you are not a fit and proper person to have and use firearms.
If any of these circumstances apply to you, we do not automatically refuse your application. However, we will probably have more questions.
- You have been charged with or convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment.
- You have been charged with or convicted of an offence under the Arms Act 1983, against section 231A of the Crimes Act 1961, or against the Game Animal Council Act 2013, the Wildlife Act 1953, or the Wild Animal Control Act 1977.
- You have had a temporary protection order made against you under section 79 of the Family Violence Act 2018, or section 14 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
- You have given grounds for a protection order under the Family Violence Act 2018.
- You have had a restraining order made against you under the Harassment Act 1997.
- You have not complied with the requirements of the Arms Act, regulations made under the Arms Act, or the conditions of a permit, licence, or endorsement issued to you under the Arms Act. You have been a member or affiliated with a gang or organised criminal group.
- You have exhibited, encouraged, or promoted violence, hatred, or extremism.
- You have been assessed as a risk to national security.
- You have a mental or physical illness or injury that affects your ability to safely possess firearms.
- You have abused alcohol or been dependent on alcohol. You have used drugs that affect your judgement or behaviour.
If Te Tari Pūreke has a reason to find you are not a fit and proper person, we tell you the reason (some exemptions apply) and give you an opportunity to refute or comment on it.
If you are a disqualified person from holding a firearms licence:
- you cannot apply for a licence
- Te Tari Pūreke can’t consider your application
You are disqualified from holding a firearms licence if in the last 10 years you have had a protection order, other than a temporary order, made against you under the Family Violence Act 2018 or the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
You are disqualified from holding a firearms licence if in the last 10 years you have been convicted or released from custody after being convicted of offences under the:
- Sentencing Act 2002
- Arms Act 1983
- Crimes Act 1961
You may be disqualified from holding a firearms licence if you have been convicted overseas for an offence involving violence, drugs, or alcohol.
Sentencing Act 2002
Any serious violent offence as defined in the Sentencing Act disqualifies you from holding a firearms licence.
Arms Act 1983
Offences under the Arms Act that disqualify people from holding a licence include:
- importing a firearm or other arms item without a permit
- importing prohibited ammunition
- selling or supplying a prohibited firearm or magazine
- unlawfully possessing a prohibited firearm
- unlawfully carrying or possessing a prohibited firearm in a public place
- presenting a prohibited firearm at another person
- using or attempting to use a prohibited firearm, airgun, or other arms item to resist or prevent arrest, or to commit an offence
- carrying a prohibited firearm, or other arms item with criminal intent assembling a prohibited firearm
- illegally manufacturing arms items
- illegally trafficking firearms, parts, or ammunition falsifying firearm markings
Crimes Act 1961
Offences under the Crimes Act that disqualify people from holding a licence include:
- slave dealing
- participation in an organised criminal group
- strangulation or suffocation
- acid throwing
- assault with a weapon
- intentional damage
- threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm
The photo must meet the minimum requirements as set out in the Arms Regulations 1992, regulation 30, Photographs
The photo must:
- have been taken no more than 12 months before you submit your application
- be a full front view of your face, head, and shoulders, with your head filling most of the photo
- be of you without a hat or head covering (unless your religion requires you to wear a hat or head covering)
- have a plain, light-coloured background
- be a colour photo
Te Tari Pūreke cannot accept a scanned copy of a photo.
Passport photos from commercial outlets typically meet these requirements.
- A digital photo must be:
- a portrait photo, with a 4:3 aspect ratio
- in jpg or jpeg format
- between 25KB and 10MB
- between 900 and 4500 pixels wide, and 1200 and 6000 pixels high
We do not accept photos that do not meet these standards.
If you are submitting a paper application, you must provide two identical prints of your photo, measuring 45mm by 35mm untrimmed on good quality photo paper.