Michael Dowling - COLFO Chairmans Report - 16th of April 2011

The past year has had a moderate level of activity for the Council, meeting six times through the year.

I would like to thank the representatives from the national associations which make up the Council: Andre Doyle for National Rifle Association NZ; Bill Wright and Gary Burch for Pistol; NZ Gary Howat for NZ Black Powder Federation; Lech Beltowski for Sporting Shooters Association NZ; Kath Arnold and Steve Privett for NZ Antique and Historical Arms Association; John Bryce for NZ Service Rifle Association; Stuart Hayman for International Military Arms Society; Paul Clark for NZ Ammunition Co Ltd; Trevor Dyke for NZ Deerstalkers’ Association and also as Vice Chair; Andre Doyle and Tobin Bradwell as Treasurer and Dianne Brown as Executive Secretary - for the efforts they have put in over the last year for the benefit of all licensed firearm owners.

Over the year COLFO launched the updated website.

We were involved in discussion around the shelving of the Arms Amendment Bill No 3 and the potential Arms Amendment Bill No 4.

In the last six months, as Chair, I have been writing articles for distribution to member associations and NZ Guns and Hunting every two months to give members greater transparency around the activities of the Council, what we are doing to address current issues and what we see as developing issues.

Additionally I, and others, have attended a number of member association AGMs and events to give us greater visibility to members. These include: NZDA AGM, PNZ AGM, NRA NZ Ballinger Belt final match, Pacific Regional Shooting Championship, Sika Show and Tahr Show. It is our intent to continue to attend the national meetings of member Associations throughout this coming year to give us greater visibility to members.

Internationally we have met with Sporting Shooters Association of Australia in New Zealand; attended a meeting of the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities in Brisbane and one in Las Vegas; and a UN meeting in New York. These meetings have been on the implication of international changes to policy and standardisation of firearms laws that have an impact on the ability for New Zealand firearm owners to purchase either directly themselves, or indirectly through dealers, firearms, ammunition and accessories.

We have approached NZ Clay Target Association and Milsim, a softair and paintball association, to have representatives on the Council. At this date we have not had any nominations.

We have written a number of press releases and have given feedback into multiple UN publications (including the Arms Trade Treaty) which will effect the international transfer of arms and ammunition for competition or hunting events. We have also conducted a comprehensive review of the constitution of the Council to ensure it is current.

Three members of the Council have undergone media training to improve our professionalism and ensure we deliver the message we intend in from on cameras and on the radio.

We have made a couple of TV appearances and had a number of radio interviews taped.

We have met regularly with the police at national level and commenced meetings at assistant commissioner level that will continue on a quarterly basis; these will look at strategic issues. We have also liaised with a number of politicians.

Looking forward it is our intent to promote New Zealand firearms laws internationally at the UN, with the support of the government, as being the best model. We are looking for the chance to enhance these laws at national level as a result of Arms Amendment Bill No 4 when it arrives.

Michael Dowling

PS following the AGM, COLFO has asked all member associations to consider submissions for the Arms Amendment Bill and is coordinating a combined submission.