Steampunk sets arms policy

Steampunkers at Oamaru's annual festival will not be allowed to carry props that look like modern...
Steampunkers at Oamaru's annual festival will not be allowed to carry props that look like modern-day weapons. Photo: Hamish MacLean
Don't take your guns to town, son.

The late Johnny Cash's lyric has been enshrined as policy at the Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru.

In its 10th year, the festival - to be held from May 30 to June 2 - has enacted a weapons policy for the first time in response to the Christchurch terror attacks.

Steampunk NZ Trust chairman Steve Raynes (also known as Neave Willoughby) said a weapons policy had been front of mind since the March attacks and was prompted by some questions from "a few locals in Oamaru about what our policy was going to be".

"A weapons policy is nothing new - similar steampunk festivals all around the world, pretty much all of them, have a weapons policy of one sort or the other," Mr Raynes said.

"In many respects, we are just playing catch-up here," he said.

"Your costume props must be inoperable and look the part of your character-costume and should obviously be fantastical and not look like standard, modern-day weapons."

Those dressed in realistic modern military uniforms would also be barred from events.

"Steampunk is all about retro-futurism, fantasy, and how Victorians would imagine the future," he said.

"And so most of our props and weapons and things are fantastical and ... whimsical, technological things."

However, there were sub-genres of steampunk that could veer towards characters that could be misconstrued.

"We have a few that are post-apocalyptic and they would be the closest, but then, if you look at them as a whole, they look about as far removed from a terrorist as you could get," he said.

"Their weapons, obviously, don't look real. They look in character.

"No member of the public is going to think anything other than steampunk or some derivation of that."

Add a Comment