If you’re a visitor from overseas planning more than a brief fishing trip, you must buy a Non-Resident Licence (NRL).
Non-resident means a person who, on October 1, is NOT a resident.
Resident means a person who, on that date, is a New Zealand citizen, or ordinarily resides in New Zealand.
A New Zealand citizen (by birth certificate, passport, citizenship) doesn’t require an NRL.
A Non-Resident Licence entitles the holder to fish for sports fish from October 1 to September 30 in all Fish & Game regions, excluding the Taupo Fishing District managed by the Department of Conservation.
The NRL costs $169 and is a Whole Season Licence. This figure includes a $39 levy used to improve back country fisheries.
NRLs for juniors (12-17) and children (under 12) are also available as Non-Resident Whole Season licences – each costing $34.
If you’re a visitor just planning a short fishing trip anywhere from a few hours to a full day, you can buy a One Day Non-Resident Licence for $34 (Adult), or $20 for a junior or child.
This One Day NRL doesn’t allow you to fish the back country waters.
But after a Whole Season NRL has been purchased, the holder can apply for a Back Country Licence and Controlled Fishery Licence at no additional cost (except for the upper Rangitikei back country fishery which costs a mandatory $25 for all anglers).
Non-Resident Licences can be purchased online or in person (if you are in New Zealand) at a hunting or fishing store that sells licences – agents with online purchasing facilities are able to issue NRLs.
Alternatively, overseas visitors can apply for, and have their licence mailed to them at an international address in advance of their trip to New Zealand.
They should allow at least 15 working days before their departure for it to reach them in time.
Otherwise a New Zealand postal address can be provided so the licence is ready for collection on arrival.
Non-resident anglers are not eligible for other whole season or part-season licences.
An angler found fishing with the “wrong” licence can be prosecuted as though they have no fishing licence.