Police say the death of a hunter on the first day of the duck shooting season appears to be a "tragic accident".
The man, aged around 50, was one of a party out hunting on a rural property near Waiuku, south of Auckland, yesterday.
Senior Sergeant Matt Rogers said police were called to the scene just before 6pm where they found a man dead.
A post-mortem tomorrow will determine whether the man had been drinking before the accident.
Police do not suspect foul play but have not ruled out laying charges.
Rogers said it was a timely reminder of the importance of firearm safety when people are out hunting.
Fish and Game chief Bryce Johnson said at the end of the day the responsibility for sensible firearms use lies with the hunter.
"It is important for everyone who uses firearms or is around firearms to behave and treat them with caution," said police spokesman Kevin Loughlin.
Johnson said he was devastated to hear of the death, when so much time is spent educating hunters about safety.
He said people need to identify their target, check the firing zone, and only load when they are ready to fire.
AOS alert in Gore
Meanwhile, in Gore, the opening of duck shooting season
saw an armed offenders alert.
The Armed Offenders Squad was sent to Traffers Bar in the Southland town on Saturday night after a verbal altercation between two men ended with one of them presenting a double-barrelled shotgun.
Senior Sergeant Maggie Windle of Invercargill police says a 24-year-old man had travelled to the bar with some associates after duck shooting.
She says the group had been drinking before arriving at the bar and there was an argument with another man.
The alleged offender presented the shotgun, causing the patrons
Windle says no shots were fired before the man and his associates then left. The AOS arrested the man at a Gore address and he will appear in court on Monday.
He is facing charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful presentation of a firearm, and using a firearm while intoxicated.
- with Newstalk ZB