New Zealand firearm buyback cost could balloon to $300m

The New Zealand government’s planned buyback of semi-automatic firearms in the wake of the Christchurch shooting could cost as much as $300m (£155m), deputy prime minister Winston Peters has said.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern previously said that the scheme would cost between $100m and $200m, but Peters told Radio NZ on Tuesday it was better to “prepare for the worst”. “It could cost – and this is an extravagant statement but it may well be true – it could cost up to $300m to set what is wrong, right,” he said.

His remarks came as the police minister Stuart Nash introduced proposed changes to parliament on Monday night which MPs will urgently debate on Tuesday. “Owning a fire arm is a privilege not a right in this country,” Nash told MPs.

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