Hunting Licences FAQ

It is hunting for such as ducks, swans, pheasants, partridges and quail. The species available to gamebird hunters are defined in the Wildlife Act 1953. Some of these gamebirds are native to New Zealand (such as the paradise shelduck and the grey duck), while others were brought to New Zealand for hunting.

Fish & Game NZ is not responsible for any other kinds of hunting. We do not cover deer hunting (try the Deerstalkers Association).

Game Birds: The Wildlife Act 1953 schedule 1 defines the following species as wildlife declared to be game birds:

  • Black swan (Cygnus atratus) (except on Chatham Islands)
  • Chukar (Alectoris chukar): except on Chatham Islands
  • Duck:
    • Australasian shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)
    • Grey duck (Anas superciliosa) and any cross of that species with any other species, variety, or kind of duck (except on Chatham Islands).
    • Mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) and any cross of that species with any other species, variety, or kind of duck (except on Chatham Islands).
    • Paradise shelduck (Tadorna variegata)
  • Partridge:
    • Grey partridge (Perdix perdix): except on Chatham Islands
    • Red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa rufa): except on Chatham Islands
  • Pheasant—
    • any bird, not being a domestic bird, of the genus Phasianus and any cross of any such bird with any other species, variety, or kind of pheasant: except on Chatham Islands
  • Pukeko (Porphyrio melanotus) (except on Chatham Islands).
  • Quail—
    • Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus): except on Chatham Islands
    • Brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora): except on Chatham Islands
    • California quail (Callipepla californica): except on Chatham Islands

Game Hunting Licence Types and Prices

Details of hunting licences and fees can be seen by clicking here.


Adults: 18yrs and over on 4 May 2019
Junior: 12-17yrs on 4 May 2019

After the second weekend of the season. For 2019, this was from May 13th  onwards.

The fee is payable for a habitat stamp which is supplied with every licence to hunt or kill game.

These fees and the net revenue from the sale of game bird habitat stamps and associated products sold by NZ Post are paid to the New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust Board.

The function of the Board is primarily to improve New Zealand’s game bird habitat and secondarily to improve the habitat of other wildlife (see the Board’s website for details, including how to apply for grants to improve your own game bird habitats).

Generally, you do not need a licence to hunt ducks on your own property.

Under section. 19 (3) of the Wildlife Act 1953 “…the occupier of any land, and the wife, husband, civil union partner, or de facto partner and any one son or daughter of the occupier, may, during an open season, hunt or kill on that land without a licence (but subject to all other restrictions imposed by or under this Act) any game that may lawfully be hunted or killed under a licence in the district within the boundaries of which that land is situated.” Note that the Act allows for hunting by three people; the occupier, his/her wife/husband and one son or daughter.

Section19(4)(a) outlines who qualifies as an “occupier”, and s.19(4)(b) what needs to be done if there are more than one “occupiers”

Fish & Game is looking for ways to communicate with land occupiers who hunt on their own land so that they may be kept up to date with regulations, developments in the sport, and other aspects of interest to hunters.

Our licence holders receive a free copy of the special issue Fish & Game magazine prior to each season, and of course pick up a regulation booklet with their licences.

If you are a “land occupier hunter”, and would like to receive complementary copies of the magazine, regulations and/or a copy of our electronic newsletter Both Barrels, please let us know.

You can PROVIDED your home farm and you run-off are farmed in conjunction with one another. That is, they are not separate farming entities.

No, as pursuant to Section 19(4) of the Wildlife Act the farm has to be your permanent, principal or only place of residence.

  1. A firearm licence. You require a firearms licence to possess a firearm. Any person who is of or over the age of 16 years may apply to the New Zealand Police for a firearms licence. (Arms Act 1983, s23). Unless you are under direct supervision – in that case a person who has a firearms licence can directly supervise another hunter – be they juniors, or adults. Direct supervision means to be within a short distance to see what the person is doing with the gun at all times.
  2. A permit to carry a firearm onto land administered by the Department of Conservation if you hunt on Department of Conservation administered land. These are obtainable from DoC, or Fish & Game.