Pig hunter supports semi-automatic weapons ban

By Jessica Tyson

Hunter Rawiri Kawe says semi-automatic weapons are not needed when hunting and should be banned from New Zealand following the terror attack in Christchurch.

“They hold too much ammo. You don't need them for hunting at all. I think New Zealand wouldn't be down anything if we didn't have them at all,” Kawe says.

It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced gun reforms will be made in New Zealand after semi-automatic weapons were used to kill 50 people at two Christchurch mosques on Friday.

“It’s completely scarred the whole of New Zealand. They were New Zealanders. They were our people and they were killed and it’s horrible," says Kawe.

The Ngāti Maniapoto descendant says he often goes hunting with his whānau in the Waikato region for pigs, deer and ducks.

“I’ve been hunting since I was about seven years old with my old man. He was from the forces and he decided he’d teach me and my brother how to use guns and learn gun safety.”

Kawe says a new law banning semi-automatic weapons would make hunting safer.

“It’ll help keep the population of the animals around because people will be shooting with less ammo and they won’t be shooting as much," he says.

Ardern says gun owners have already started to surrender their guns to police.

“I applaud that effort, and if you're thinking about surrendering your weapon, I would encourage you to do so,” she says.

Ardern says she intends to give further detail of decisions regarding the reform to the public before Monday, March 25.