Species Requiring a Licence

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

Yes. The rules allow for upland game hunting (pheasant, quail) with lead. The reason behind this is that waterfowl are susceptible to lead poisoning through uptake of lead pellets - with lead normally being concentrated in or around shallow ponds, wetlands, and on the edges of deeper ponds.

For upland game, the spread of lead shot is much more diffuse and spent pellets are distributed over a wider area - making them less likely to be picked up by birds. Quail also select for a smaller grit size than most pellets used - therefore are less likely to be affected.

No. The rules will relate to the possession of lead for waterfowl hunting - so you can't chop and change in the field. If you are going duck hunting it's non-toxic shot eg steel shot, if you are hunting pheasants you can use either steel (or other non-toxic shot) or lead shot, if you are hunting both ducks and pheasant then its non-toxic only. However, you cannot simply say you were hunting pheasant.

It will be up to you to show the ranger that you are indeed hunting pheasant - no duck callers, no ducks hanging off your belt, etc and if you're sitting in the maimai with full camo gear... "I'm waiting for pheasants to fly past" won't wash either.

Non toxic shot will be required within 200m of water bodies over 3 metres wide of all PUBLIC AREAS (such as DoC land and lakes, Fish & Game areas, harbours) and all PRIVATE LAND (all wetlands and ponds).

All hunters are required to use non-toxic shot - this includes landowners/occupiers who can also hunt on their own land.