Govt announces Arms Advisory Group members

1:54 pm on 6 April 2021

The government has appointed the members of a group set up to advise it on decisions about firearms.

Poto Williams.

Police Minister Poto Williams says the group will advise on proposed legislation, regulation and safety. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The establishment of the Ministers' Arms Advisory Group was included in changes to the Arms Act passed last year.

It will be chaired by Don Hammond, who previously led the Statutory Game Animal Council.

Other members include gun owners, medical professionals and members of the Muslim community.

Police Minister Poto Williams said the group would provide advice on matters relating to firearms, including proposed legislation, regulation and safety.

"The establishment of this group was enabled by the laws passed last year to strengthen the administration of and the delivery of the intent of the Arms Act," she said.

"The group will provide advice on firearms matters and offer varying perspectives on how activities may impact on licence holders and on our communities."

The members:

  • Maxine Shortland - Community and business leader, farmer and currently Chair, NZ Public Health Association
  • Rehanna Ali - member of the reference group for the Royal Commission of Inquiry and founding member of the Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand
  • Simon Mount QC - Counsel to Sir Thomas Thorp assisting the review of firearms control in 1996-1997
  • Michael Dowling - President of the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO), and board member of the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups
  • Dr Cathy Stephenson - GP, Clinical Lead Southern for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practice, and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence, University of Otago
  • Debbie Wakker - President of Pistol New Zealand and previous competitive shooter. Founding member of COLFO and the Firearms Community Advisory Forum
  • Philippa Yasbek - Co-founder of Gun Control New Zealand
  • Shayne Walker - Senior Lecturer for the University of Otago, department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work.

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