Questions & Answers

Updated 4.30pm 30 April 2020


We are currently in Covid-19 Level 3. What does this mean for anglers and hunters?

We have addressed a number of the pressing questions below.

Fish & Game  are mindful that everyone wants some certainty around what we know is a national tradition and an important population management tool.

We are seeking further clarification from the Government on their restrictions.

We continue to engage with the Government regarding the conditions associated with level 3 and level 2 to allow the 2020 Gamebird season to take place. 


Q and A


We are currently in Alert Level 3 restrictions


 Q. Can you fish at Alert Level 3? 

A. Yes, if it is shore based fishing. The Government has said: “If you want to go fishing you can do so from a wharf or the shore, but don’t cast off the rocks or fish from a boat (boating is not allowed). Tramping is ok for day walks on easy trails... Please be aware of maintaining two metres distance from other people.” 

The Government has also said you cannot travel to another region for recreation. And that you should drive as short a distance as you can to do the activity. You must stay local. 


Q. Can I hunt at Alert Level 3? 

A. Game bird hunting is not permitted at Level 3. In regards to other hunting, the latest information on hunting at Alert Level 3 (starting Tuesday April 28) released by Hon Grant Robertson and Hon Eugenie Sage can be read here


Q. Can we delay the game bird season? 

A. The game bird season will open on the second Saturday following the introduction of Alert Level 2, except if that date falls on May 30.

The game bird season will not open at Queen’s Birthday weekend specifically to avoid Moving Day on the 1st of June (an important date in the rural calendar when large numbers of farmers move to new farms).

Based on current Government projections, we are likely to see an opening day mid-May or early June. An example of how this would work is: 

- Level 2 introduced between May 11 & 15 = Opening Day May 23

- Level 2 introduced between May 16 & 29 = Opening Day June 6 


Q. How does the lockdown affect pegging? 

A. Pegs from the 2019 season will carry over to the 2020 season provided you have a valid 2020 game bird licence.  

You do not need to have purchased your 2020 licence by April 5th (pegging day) for your peg to stand, provided you have a valid 2020 licence by Opening Weekend. 


Q. Can I continue to feed my pond given the game bird season may be on? 

A. Yes, if it meets the Government Level 3 regulations. If not, stay at home.  


Q. Will there be enforcement activities during the lockdown? 

A. Fish & Game will continue to enforce fishing and game bird hunting regulations in accordance with the Wildlife and Conservation Acts during this time. It is important to note that all Police Officers also have enforcement powers under the Wildlife and Conservation Acts.  

If you are fishing or hunting at all when the Government has specifically outlined these activities as prohibited, this will be a Police matter and not the responsibility of Fish & Game. 


Q. Are Fish & Game licences suspended during Alert Level 4 lockdown? 

A. No. Licences are valid, however there are Government enforced restrictions in place for fishing and game bird hunting when we are at Alert Level 3. 


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