1 February 2011
This Regulatory Impact Statement provides an analysis of options for the future management of the Canada goose.

This Regulatory Impact Statement provides an analysis of options for the future management of the Canada goose (Branta canadensis) to address the longstanding dissatisfaction among various community sectors regarding the management of this species.


Agency disclosure statement

Details of the current management regime for Canada geese, and the perspectives of farming, recreational hunting and other interests regarding goose management, were gathered during DOC’s Wildlife Protection Review. This included a public consultation process undertaken in 2006-07, followed by additional consultation with representatives of key sector groups having an interest in Canada goose. More recently, the Minister of Conservation has undertaken additional consultation with sector interests.

The analysis of options was constrained by a requirement that no option should involve amendment of primary legislation because this was outside the terms of reference for the Wildlife Protection Review. This eliminated consideration of some approaches advocated by some stakeholders. Two key uncertainties regarding the outcomes of some of the options considered are:

  • Unknown responses of fish and game councils to requests regarding goose management if geese remain listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Act 1953 (the councils are not subject to Ministerial direction and are accountable only to game licence holders regarding goose management policy).
  • Unknown outcomes to public processes under the Biosecurity Act 1993 if geese are moved to Schedule 5 of the Wildlife Act and efforts are made to have Canada geese managed under regional (as opposed to national) pest management strategies.

If changes are made to the status quo, further work may be required to draft regulations or notices to implement any policy decisions.

None of the policy options involve new regulations that would impose additional costs on businesses, cause additional impairment to private property rights, or override common law principles (as referenced in Chapter 3 of the Legislation Advisory Committee Guidelines).  However, the status quo situation impairs private property rights and may be causing disincentives for farm investment. 


Whare Kaupapa Atawhai / Conservation House Head Office
Phone:   +64 4 471 0726
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   18 Manners Street
Wellington 6011
Postal Address:   PO Box 10420
Wellington 6140
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