You need a Wild Animal Recovery Operations (WARO) concession to undertake wild animal recovery operations on public conservation land.

Applications over the holiday period

We will stop working on permit and concession applications from 20 December 2023 and restart on 11 January 2024 due to our statutory close-down period. DOC offices will close on 22 December 2023 and reopen on 3 January 2024.

New national WARO concession

The processing of new national WARO permits for WARO operators is almost complete. The new permit will replace the 2015-2018 permit and will be offered in accordance with the recently approved 2023 WARO land schedule.

2015 concession holders were issued interim permits to allow continuity of operations until the new national WARO permit is offered.

Final decisions are later than anticipated due to the complexity of the work, high-level of external interest and internal staff changes.

WARO land access recommendations has more information on:

  • the approved report summarising the land schedule review process
  • submissions received
  • types of issues raised
  • DOC decisions.

WARO concessions

When and why a WARO concession is needed:

  • a WARO concession is needed any time an aircraft is used commercially to search for, shoot or recover wild animals (or parts of wild animals) on public conservation land
  • wild animals like deer are present throughout the country with significant numbers in some places
  • New Zealand’s native plants and habitats are being eaten and damaged by wild animals, and the function of many ecosystems are being threatened
  • WARO, alongside recreational hunting and government operations, can play a role in managing deer and other wild animals on public conservation land.

A WARO concession is available for:

  • the supply of deer, pig, goat and chamois to Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) approved processors, and
  • live capture of the same wild animals (excluding chamois) to be placed on authorised properties.

Applicants must:

  • have a current supply contract with an approved processor, or a marketing entity that has a contract for processing carcasses with a MPI approved processor, and 
  • meet the MPI requirements for these activities. 

National WARO concessions exclude the carriage of either recreational hunters or fare paying passengers. See aerially assisted trophy hunting (AATH) or aircraft activities for more information.

Pre-application discussion

Applying for a concession for the first time can be a little tricky. To ensure your application goes smoothly, contact the staff in our Hokitika office. We’ll help you to:

  • Understand the concession you will need to apply for.
  • Navigate our statutory planning documents, so you can consider whether the activity you wish to undertake is consistent with them.
  • Understand DOC’s responsibility to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, which requires consultation with Treaty Partners on most applications. If you wish, DOC can help you contact the local iwi, hapū, and whānau to assess whether your proposed activity will have any cultural effects. Often this consultation can enhance the activity you are considering.

Type of WARO concession

Note: The existing sample concessions below are in the process of being updated and will be replaced by new templates, with some new terms and conditions, by spring 2023.

The National WARO concessions on offer cover the recovery and capture of the following wild animals:

North Island: deer, pig and goat carcass recovery plus live capture of deer, pig and goat.

South Island: deer, pig chamois and goat carcass recovery and live capture of deer.

If you wish to apply for any other type of wild animal recovery operation contact our Christchurch office.

Apply for your concession

Your application fee is $2,065.00 plus GST for North Island or South Island concessions.

If your application is approved we will send you a contract which you must sign and return before proceeding with your activity.

Locations for the national WARO concession

Note: These 2023 maps are for information purposes only. They can only be used when formally accepted by operators as part of a new national permit offer.

Index map (PDF, 2263K)

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