To ensure your permit application goes smoothly we offer a free pre-application meeting.

Benefits of meeting

You need Permissions to interact with wildlife, import or export endangered animals, plants, or their parts, or use public conservation land for reasons other than personal recreation.

‘Permissions’ encompasses the permits, leases, easements, licences and authorisations you need to apply for from DOC. These are explained in more detail in the pages below.

Permissions are needed for the following activities on public conservation lands and waters:

  • Guiding/tourism/recreation
  • Sports events
  • Filming
  • Activities involving marine mammals or wildlife
  • Scientific research in Marine reserves
  • Mining, exploration or prospecting for minerals
  • Research and collection
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Access and permission to access certain reserves and Maritime Parks
  • Transferring or releasing aquatic life
  • Taking a dog with you
  • Fire use
  • Taoka species in Otago

If you require a permission from DOC our pre-application meeting can save you time and money. The benefits include:

  • we will advise you if your application is unlikely to be successful
  • if your proposal is possible you will have all the information you need to know to make a successful application
  • talking to us early will save going back and forth during the application process
  • the meeting is free for up to half a day.

If you have a particularly complex proposal and your pre-application meeting takes more than half a day we may recover some of the costs of providing this advice.

What the meeting will cover

We’ll let you know:

  • what type of permission you need to apply for
  • what the process will be, the costs, how long it is likely to take and what your responsibilities are
  • what is required from your Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), safety plan (if required), and your insurance responsibilities
  • how to contact the local iwi/hapū/whanau assess whether your proposed activity is likely to have any cultural effects. DOC has a responsibility to ‘give effect to the principles’ of the Treaty of Waitangi in all the work we do. See iwi/hapu/whanau consultation for how this applies to permissions applications.
  • how to check the relevant statutory planning documents and legislation to see how it may affect your proposal.

We can provide you with an example of the type of authorisation document you will be offered if your application is approved. Or see the standard concession documents below.

See our application process page for more information about what is involved in the application process.

Common Permissions

Depending on what you want to do and when and how you do it, you will need:

  • ‘Concessions’ are granted under the Conservation Act 1987 and include leases, licences, permits and easements.
  • ‘Authorisations’ are granted under the Wildlife Act 1953 to interact with wildlife (i.e. to catch, hold, release or kill).
  • Anyone wanting to undertake activities such as prospecting, exploration or mining must have a permit from New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals granted under the Crown Minerals Act 1991. You will also need to apply for an ‘Access arrangement’ from by DOC for access to public conservation land. 
  • You will need a permit granted under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 if you want to undertake commercial activities involving marine mammals, or you want to take, hold, import or export marine mammals.

View relevant application forms.

Types of Concession

One-off concession:

  • For a period of no longer than 3 months
  • Only has minor environmental effects that can easily be managed
  • Has clearly defined limits
  • Doesn’t take place in the same location more than once in any three-year period.

Longer-term concession:

  • This is for a period of longer than three months and doesn’t meet the other criteria for one-off permissions.

Standard concession documents

We recommend you check the standard concession document for your activity before you make an application so you know what to expect and what will be expected of you. If the concession document you need is not listed here we can provide you with one in your pre-application meeting.

Statutory planning documents and legislation

To issue a permission to use public conservation land the proposed activity must:

  • comply with the purpose for which the land is held under the legislation, for example, Conservation Act, Reserves Act, National Parks Act
  • be consistent with the relevant statutory planning documents i.e. conservation management strategies, conservation management plans and national park management plans.

Your application will be reviewed against these documents and legislation. See Statutory planning documents: Policies and plans or New Zealand Legislation for more information.

Contact us to arrange a meeting

If your application is for a one-off concession (required for a period of no longer than three months) you can request your pre-application meeting with a staff member from your local DOC office.

If your application is for a longer period see permit contacts for the best office to contact.

Back to top