Chairman’s Report to the AGM 2012

Download full annual report here

This my second Annual General Meeting report to the Council. Since our last AGM the Council has been busy active on both national and international issues.

I would like to acknowledge the voluntary time and effort put in over the last year on members’ behalf by the Council. My thanks to John Bryce, Paul Clark, Stuart Hayman, Gary Burch, Lech Beltowski, Phil Cregeen, Nicole McKee, Paul Clark, Andrew Edgecombe and Dianne Brown.

I would also like to acknowledge the four members of the Strategy Committee who have volunteered to help us going forward – Grant Fletcher, Chaz Forsyth, Gary Elmes and Gary Wilkins. Thank you for your support and we look forward to your guidance in the future.

Of special note I would like to thank the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association for their support of COLFO. With the largest association represented on the Council by measure of membership, their contribution to the income of the Council has been significant. It is also of note that they enable the Council to use the National Office of NZDA for its meetings; this has contributed by way of saving. Thank you for your continued support.

I am pleased to say we have caught up on the auditing work that resulted from the injury our treasurer suffered, 2010 and 2011 have been audited, and 2012 is with the auditor for completion.

Given the extra work tasking up the accounts represented we were unable to complete the invoicing in 2012 for 2011 and 2013. We plan to run the invoicing in 2013 and ask for donations for 2012. I would like to acknowledge the assistance provided by from Andre Doyle, a previous treasurer who assisted to compile the accounts.

Please accept my apology if you have not received a membership renewal; we will endeavor to get this out of the next two months.

Throughout the year we have kept the membership informed of our work through the bi-monthly COLFO columns in your Association newsletters and the NZ Guns and Hunting and New Zealand Hunting & Wildlife magazines.

We have held a number of meetings in the last year with Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFaT) and Members of Parliament. We have also attended two international meetings in New York. We have continued communication with Members of Parliament of developments in firearms legislation, especially when there is increased media awareness of firearm issues and safety. We have made a point to illustrate how effective our current laws are relative to overseas’ experiences.

Through last year at a national level we have:

  • Continued our involvement in the Dunedin City Council submission in regard to the limit on explosives stored in residential areas
  • Set consistent standards for special reasons to import firearms
  • Assisted the Service Rifle Association in removing the requirement to surrender a firearm when wishing to import a firearm for use in competition
  • Helped clarify the requirements firearm owners have to comply with at security checks. At an international level we were involved in the review of the United Nations Program of Action on Small Arms (PoA) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) discussions.

Progress on our Strategic plan

The strategic objectives of COLFO since 2010 have been:

  • Be accepted by Police and policy makers in the review of firearms law
  • Communicate with members regularly
  • Develop presentation for UN Program of Action (PoA) in New York 2012
  • Further develop relationships with policy makers at a strategic level
  • Facilitate meetings with Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) and World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA) in New Zealand.
  • Promote New Zealand firearms laws as the best in the world at the UN Program of Action
  • Review with a tourism focus, explaining what it is and why it works and benefits of civilian arms laws with the support of New Zealand policy makers
  • Wider enhancement of New Zealand firearm laws
  • Promotion of New Zealand internationally as a competition and hunting venue

The agreed measurements of achievement are:

  • We will have demonstrated effective communication with regulators and enforcement authorities by being included in their review of firearms laws and initiating discussion in areas that require improvement.
  • We will have demonstrated effective communication with members by being invited to speak at AGMs and have published six regular updates on the Council’s activities as well as increasing interest in the Councils’ activities on the website.
  • We will have demonstrated effective national engagement by an increased interest by bodies wishing to be represented on the Council.
  • We will have demonstrated effective international engagement by an increased interest by international bodies wishing to hear the views of the Council on international firearms law.

At this time we have achieved or are well on the way to achieving items 1-4 and 6. Item 5 is still ongoing with no date set at this time, item 7 will come up when a firearms policy forum is convened and 8 is for this year’s development.

We are still concerned about the indirect or unplanned consequences of the Program of Action and Arms Trade treaty, on the importation of parts and firearms into New Zealand.

We thank you for your feedback and look forward to representing you in the coming year.

Michael Dowling,