Changes To Arms Act For APEC

  • Clem Simich

"Selected bodyguards accompanying some world leaders attending APEC next year may be permitted to carry firearms," Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Don McKinnon and Minister of Police, Clem Simich said today.

A special amendment to the Arms Act legislation will give the Commissioner of Police control over the number and types of firearms which can be brought into the country, who can carry them and any other conditions.

The Commissioner will undertake an individual assessment for any delegation visiting New Zealand.

The Government will also look at restricting public access to APEC venues during the meetings. This is necessary to maintain the highest possible level of security for the visitors and the people of Auckland.

The Apec specific amendment to the Arms Act will be introduced in time for the main APEC meetings in New Zealand next year

"Until now New Zealand has simply asked foreign bodyguards to leave their weapons behind when entering New Zealand, and we have trusted them to do so," the Ministers said.

"APEC is an unprecedented event for New Zealand. We are expecting the world leaders of 20 economies to visit. The event requires a level of security we have never had to provide before.

"The amended legislation will give us more flexibility and greater control over visiting delegations next year."