Investigation underway after Kaitaia gun club goes up in flames

By Jessica Tyson

An investigation is underway after a gun club in Kaitaia went up flames this morning.

Northern fire spokesperson Paul Radden says firefighters were called to the scene on Okahu Downs Drive at 4am today and the fire has been deemed suspicious.

“The whole building was well involved in fire," he says.

Police say no one was in the property and there were no injuries reported.

"Police are currently at the scene conducting a scene examination and working with fire safety investigators to determine the cause of the fire."

The skyline-type garage was made from metal and was 15m by 10m in size, says Radden.

Gun reforms

The incident comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced reforms on New Zealand gun laws, following the terror attack in Christchurch last week.

Cabinet ministers met yesterday to discuss the way forward for gun legislation and the banning of all semi-automatic weapons in the country.

Ardern says the attack has “exposed a range of weaknesses in New Zealand's gun laws.” 

“The time to act is now.  I know that this might, for a short period, create a small degree of uncertainty amongst some gun owners, including those who possess guns for legitimate reasons, and I particularly acknowledge those in our rural communities.”

She says the changes are not directed at rural communities.

“In fact, I strongly believe that the vast majority of gun owners in New Zealand will agree with the sentiment that change needs to occur.  I, in fact, believe that they will be with us.”