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Firearms Safety Code now available in Māori


Firearms Safety Code is now available in English and Maori (Image Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, November 8, 2023

Possessing and using a firearm is a privilege, but the arms regulatory environment is complex, sitting between the criminal environment and long-term legislative interventions.

Now in a first, New Zealand’s Firearms Safety Code which has been available only in English will also be available in  Te Reo Māori to ensure a wider reach and easier access to relevant information.

The Firearms Safety Code is as important to New Zealand’s 234,000 firearms licence holders, as the Road Code is to New Zealand drivers.

Te Tari Pūreke, the Firearms Safety Authority, recently set out to change that, estimating that between 7 – 10% of firearms licence holders in Aotearoa New Zealand are Māori.

Many people use firearms regularly for gathering kai for whānau, hunting for sport and recreation, and for pest control in agriculture related businesses.

“For many Māori, firearms are an important tool and part of life in rural New Zealand. Understanding the Firearms Safety Code is necessary for everyone to get a firearms licence, and to safely possess and use firearms,” said Mike McIlraith, Director of Partnerships for Te Tari Pūreke.

Perfect Timing

The Firearms Safety Code was recently overhauled and republished by Te Tari Pūreke, replacing New Zealand Police’s Arms Code from 2013.

The time was right, therefore, to create the first ever reo Māori version of the Firearms Safety Code, said Mr McIlraith.

Dr Haki Tuapiki translated the code. He followed Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori guidelines for the translation which also require the work to be quality assured by a second translator before finalising. He worked on the translation for six months.

The Firearms Safety Code provides detailed guidance around the seven rules of firearm safety along with practical examples, photographs and diagrams.

The Code also outlines licence holders’ legal obligations, states of readiness, prepping a firearm for use, safe practices during transport, storage, and handling, as well as safety equipment and first aid.

“Te Tari Pūreke is committed to working with all our communities to promote safe and responsible firearms practices. We recognised a need for the Firearms Safety Code in te reo to be available for Māori, and we will continue to look for more ways to incorporate reo Māori in our resources.”

About Te Tari Pūreke

The Commissioner of Police safeguards New Zealand’s firearms and Te Tari Pūreke, the firearm safety authority within the Police regulatory system has the purpose of effectively regulating the legitimate possession and use of firearms to keep all communities safe.

Te Tari Pūreke ensures that the rules and regulations are fit for purpose and implemented in a way that enables people to use legitimate firearms safely. It also delivers a community-based firearm safety training course called Whakatūpato in partnership with iwi groups for people who live in isolated rural locations and who may not be able to attend a course in a town or city.

It works with iwi around the country to identify community needs for the Whakatūpato course.  The main objective is to remove barriers for people who would like to get their firearms licence or do safety training.

The Code is available for free to download from www.firearmssafetyauthority.govt.nz in both Māori and English. It can also be found at libraries, at bookstores around the country, some firearms dealers’ stores, and online retailers.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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