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Shooters Coming to New Zealand

Attention All Overseas Shooters Looking to Compete in NZ Pistol Matches
There are changing processes happening within the NZ Government in relation to International Visitors, please read the information below carefully well in advance of your trip to New Zealand!

All pistol shooters coming to New Zealand for a competition need to complete the following documentation. NZ Police only approve temporary pistol licenses for shooters competing in organised matches.

Contact the Match Director in the FIRST INSTANCE (or PNZ Executive Officer) for a FIREARMS LICENCE HOLDERS NUMBER and DETAILS to add to the permit to import your pistol. This should be done BEFORE filling out the Visitors Firearms License process (below).


Important: Please read the following Police website page on Visitor firearms licence and import permits for any updates on timelines to apply for visitor licences.


Applying for a visitor firearms license

AS OF THE 18th OF JULY 2022:

Please note, anyone seeking a visitor licence will need to apply for one a minimum of four months before intended arrival in NZ – this will ensure applications are resolved before arrival. Visit News and updates for further information. The New Zealand border is currently restricted to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Please visit the NZ Immigration website (link is external) to find out if you are still eligible to travel here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Pistol NZ Executive Officer.


Visitors Firearms License and E-Visa Process

The process of obtaining a temporary firearms licence has been updated by the NZ Police in early 2019 and NZ Immigration has now added a New E-Visa to the process as of late 2019.

1: Visitors Firearms License

The following link will take you to a PDF highlighting ALL of the requirements and details (Including links) you will need to complete the Police licence process:


Please refer to the link above ‘Police Website’ link for current application timelines.

When travelling to New Zealand bring your Overseas Firearms Licence with you
REMEMBER: You must have a temporary New Zealand Firearms Licence to shoot in New Zealand, even though you may not be bringing firearms with you. The New Zealand police do not communicate with you about whether there is an issue or not. Pistol NZ no longer advises the airport police of incoming shooters. When the police issue the import permit they will advise the airport police themselves of your pending arrival.

Any overseas shooter should contact the Match Director in the FIRST INSTANCE (or PNZ Executive Officer) to obtain a NZ licence holders-licence number and the location of storage, so they can add to their application.

VISITORS VISA (Updated Late 2019)

Many travellers wanting to visit New Zealand now need an electronic authorisation, thanks to new government rules.

The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) will be required for most people visiting the country and was introduced from 1 October 2019.

How does it all work? who needs one? and how much does it cost?

Anyone from a visa waiver country will need an approved NZeTA before they enter New Zealand. This includes children, citizens not required to have a visa to enter New Zealand and anyone who is only passing through an airport on their way elsewhere.

A list of visa waiver countries and territories is available here on the INZ website.

The NZeTA can be requested online, and sometimes approved within 10 minutes – although it is best to allow up to 72 hours to be safe as approval is required before commencing travel, according to Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Those eligible who do not have a NZeTA by the time they check in for their flights or cruise into New Zealand from 1 October 2019 will not be allowed to board.

Anyone who is unsure about whether they need a NZeTA can find out here.


New Zealand and Australian citizens travelling with a NZ or Australian passport are not required to apply for a NZeTA.

Anyone whose foreign passport has a New Zealand citizen endorsement or who holds a valid visa, including a permanent resident visa, also needn’t apply.


NZeTAs can be requested via the free app downloadable from the Apple Store or Google Play for NZ$9, or from the INZ website for NZ$12.

At the same time, travellers will be charged the new NZ$35 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) introduced in July 2020, which will go towards protecting the country’s tourist hot spots, conservation, infrastructure and systems.

The IVL is charged to international visitors staying in New Zealand for less than 12 months.

The fee won’t be required from Australian citizens, permanent residents and people from many Pacific Island nations.


2: Registration for the event

The Police will be seeking verification from Pistol NZ that the incoming shooter is coming for a legitimate competition. Pistol New Zealand need to receive your event registration form before you send your visitors firearms license application to the NZ Police.

PLEASE NOTE: Please make sure that you send your entry form and payment directly to the event organiser. Pistol NZ will not be forwarding the information.

Place to send this information to is:

  • Email address for scanned papers (PREFERRED METHOD): [email protected]
  • Postal: PNZ Executive Officer,
    P O Box 391, Hastings,
    New Zealand 4156
  • Fax (least preferred method): +64 6 870 7574

3: Invitation letter to export pistols from your country

If you need an invitation letter from the event you are entering to export pistols or ammunition from your country or your airline requests such a letter to allow you to board your flight with firearms or ammunition contact the Executive Officer who can provide an invitation letter.

4: MFAT Export of Strategic Goods form

PLEASE NOTE: This form is only to be filled in and sent to MFaT if an International shooter entering and leaving New Zealand has 5 OR MORE firearms for shooting a National or International shooting competition.
If you are arriving or leaving with LESS than 5 firearms for shooting a National or International shooting competition, then you do not need to fill in or send this form to MFAT. (Details can be found HERE)

(Bulk Imports or Exports of MORE than 5 Firearms still need the MFAT form filled out).

International shooters still need to a copy of the Import Permit you obtain from your own country. In the case of Australia we know this to be the B709a, to be able to re-import the firearms back into your OWN Country.

Changes in exportation laws now require approval for you to export your firearms (to yourself). You need to complete the form highlighted and include with it a copy of the Import Permit you obtain from your own country. In the case of Australia we know this to be the B709a.

Send this information to the Export Controls Officer at:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Fax: +64 4 439 8227
  • Postal: Export Controls Officer,
    MFAT Disarmament Division,
    Private Bag 18901, Wellington,
    New Zealand

PLEASE NOTE: The Executive Officer for Pistol New Zealand does not handle these papers. You need to send them direct to the place indicated. Whilst there are some who would advise that this is not required, we are advised by the NZ Police that it is and we do not want any of our people to provide the “test case”. MFAT will contact the incoming shooter directly.


Overseas shooters please take note of this important update from the NZ Police (December 15th 2017)

Important Update to all International Shooters

Arrangements for bringing firearms through Auckland International Airport

Arrangements are in place for people who wish to bring firearms through Auckland International Airport.

Following consultation with airlines, ground handling contractors and Police partner agencies, it has been agreed that a new, consistent process should be in place to increase security.

From December 2017 , firearms coming into the airport will be uplifted by ground handlers who will then place them in a secured cabinet situated between baggage carousels 3 and 4. The person bringing the firearms into the country will then be required to contact the Airport Police and complete the paperwork required to bring the firearm into New Zealand before proceeding to Customs.

The new arrangements will apply to New Zealanders returning with firearms as well as people visiting from overseas.

Australian Shooters Travelling to New Zealand

Rod Pascoe wrote an article in the Sport Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) Handgun Magazine outlining his findings when Australian shooters to New Zealand to shoot.

Pistol New Zealand thank SSAA for the use of this article.

The article can be foundHERE



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