Bringing a custom rifle for NZ hunt?


Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2010
A buddy and I are knocking one off our bucket list with a stag and fallow deer hunt in New Zealand next April. My question concerns bringing my custom 300 WM for the hunt. In doing some pre-trip research I see that New Zealand has a list of approved rifles that are allowed into the country, yet I've seen pictures of all kinds of obviously visiting hunters with various custom rifles; none of which are on the approved list.

Is there some provision on the firearm permit application that allows for bringing a rifle not on the approved list? Is it something perhaps that the NZ authorities consider on a case by case basis? Thanks in advance for any info/guidance.
Tagging in. We just went to South Africa and had no trouble with custom rifles. We were told that if the head stamp on the ammo was not a close match to the stamp on the rifle that it could be a problem so we made sure not bring anything that was too wildcat.

New Zealand implemented some new rules last year that placed some restrictions on what firearms are allowed in the country. Many of the photo's are from a bit before that. I do not have direct knowledge of what is and is not allowed. Perhaps a booking agent that does a some there can help you with questions. I know there is an application for import of firearms. Might have some info there.
Thanks Bruce. I'm going to email the outfitter directly. In the meantime I did some digging around the NZ Police firearms application page and found that they have added a downloadable Excel spreadsheet with a updated list of approved firearms. On that list they have "Rifles Generic - Various makes bolt action generic, various countries".

My guess is this should cover a custom bolt rifle but will confirm with the outfitter. It's hard to believe that a Christensen Arms CA-15 is on the approved list but the Christensen Arms Summit or Ridgeline are omitted.
Hi OLI62,
Unfortunately the "Approved Firearms List" is far from complete and I personally own rifles that are not on the list but I know that they have been submitted to the Police for inspection.
All the information you require is on the link below which I am sure you have already seen.
As long as the rifle you intend on bringing with you is a conventional bolt action sporting (hunting) type rifle you shouldn't have any issues.
Apply for the import permit and export permit sooner rather than later as at times it can take some time to receive these.
If you are concerned there is a link on the below website where you can fill in the "Firearms team contact form.

Good luck with your hunts.

That will do well here in NZ and i see it is wearing one of the chosen ones. Anything Swarovski is a chosen one in my eyes. The only thing I would add is flip up scope covers as the weather can change in an instant here.
You won't have a problem with it, just get your paperwork sorted early. Who are you hunting with if you don't mind me asking?
Thanks for the great info.....I am in the planning stages of booking a Stag and Tahr hunt for next April too. Although I am stoked for the hunt, I am equally stoked on seeing the beautiful, untouched landscapes that NZ is also known for......I can't wait to knock this one off my bucket list.
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