Covid-19 info for Hunters

Updated 5.00pm 26th March 2020


updates gbh2

While in a time of national emergency and Covid-19 level 4 lockdown, and with the Prime Minister’s statement to stay at home and not go fishing or hunting, we have the following information for game bird hunters: 


The Game Bird Season

With five weeks to go, many of you are asking what the 2020 game bird season will look like. There are many factors to consider and the answers are not simple. Please be assured that Fish & Game are working through all the options to ensure that a game bird season goes ahead including any changes that may be necessary  

There are a number of variables we must consider, such as: 

  • When will the Alert Level 4 lockdown finish?  

  • What restrictions will remain in place when Alert Level 4 is reduced? 

  • The impact of lockdowns and restrictions potentially becoming regional. 

  • Legislative barriers to changing the game bird season. 

  • The management of hunting on public and private land. 

  • Impact on managing the species and habitat, including the impacts on breeding seasons and population dynamics. 

We appreciate your patience while we work through these issues. Many of you have communicated suggestions to us and we will take these into account. We will advise all current and prospective game bird hunters of any decisions as soon as they are made. 

In the meantime, use the time at home to prepare your gear for the season, practice your calls, and get ready to put it to good use. 

Pegging day 

Because pegging day (April 5) will occur when the country is at Covid-19 Alert Level 4, all pegs from the 2019 Game bird season will be valid for the 2020 season so long as the hunter has a valid 2020 game season licence. There is no need for hunters to travel to their maimai’s to stake their claim this year.

Game Bird Licence Cards 

From today, Wednesday 25th March, no plastic licence cards can be issued as the supplier is not regarded as an essential service. Any licences purchased will receive a licence in PDF form. You can use this on a phone screen or print it out and carry it with you when hunting with photo ID, once the Alert Level 4 lockdown has endedPlastic licences will be sent once production starts again. 


If there is no opportunity for any game bird hunting during the 2020 game bird season because of the Covid-19 Alert Level, then all game bird licences purchased will be refunded. Hunting is currently permitted at Alert Level 3 and below, provided Government regulations are followed.