IntroductionPermits and licences are needed to hunt New Zealand game birds.
Waterfowl, including paradise shelduck, mallard, grey and shoveler duck and black swan can be hunted in DOC-managed areas. Upland game such as pheasant and quail can also be hunted.
To hunt game birds on public conservation land, you need both:
- a game bird licence from Fish & Game New Zealand, and
- a game bird hunting permit from DOC
Game birds are managed by Fish & Game New Zealand, while the habitat that game bird hunting occurs on is managed by DOC.
To hunt game birds on your own property, Fish & Game New Zealand has more information.
Game bird licence
Licences for hunting game birds are issued by Fish & Game New Zealand.
Purchase a game bird licence from the Fish & Game New Zealand website.
You'll receive a copy of the Game Bird Hunting Guide with your licence. This provides you with information about the hunting seasons and bag limits for each species, maps and much more. It is an essential companion to your hunting licence.
Note, there are six separate regions in the North Island and six in the South Island. Each have their own regulations to comply with. Check the regulations for the region you're hunting in, before you go hunting.
Game bird hunting permit
In addition to the game bird licence you need a separate game bird hunting permit to hunt on public conservation land.
These permits are for specific areas and periods and are issued through the DOC office closest to the hunting area.
- For game bird hunting in the Waikato and Hauraki regions, you can collect your permit from certain outlets when you purchase your Fish & Game licence: Waikato and Hauraki game bird hunting permit outlets.
- For game bird hunting in Wairau Lagoons in Marlborough, you need to contact the local office. How to request a licence for Wairau Lagoons.
Check with the issuing office if the construction of maimai (a hunters' hut) is permitted and if so, under what conditions.
Canada geese have been moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 5 of the Wildlife Act 1953. This means the species is no longer managed by Fish and Game councils, and is now “not protected” (note this does not mean “pest”).
Anyone can hunt or kill geese at any time of year without a need for a game licence. Hunters wanting to hunt geese on conservation land still need to obtain a hunting permit. Hunting of Canada geese is covered by a small game hunting permit.