General Licence FAQs
Contact your local Fish & Game office for a replacement. They will require you to provide them with details about where and when you purchased your original licence.
I bought my licence online or from the 0800 542 362 number and want to go hunting, but my plastic licence has not turned up yet. What should I do?
Take your licence number and a photo ID with you when you go hunting or fishing. This will enable a ranger to positively identify you and cross check your licence number with our records system.
If your licence hasn't arrived after 10 days from your issue date, please contact email@example.com
In the online licence system, when I click on the back button I go back to the Fish & Game website instead of the previous page. Why?
There is no back button function in the online licence system because security and data integrity could be compromised.
The setting of licence fees is relatively simple. Fish & Game New Zealand add up the budgets of the 13 councils (12 regional councils plus the New Zealand-wide Fish and Game Council), and divide that figure by the number of licences we expect to sell.
This is done by converting all licence sales to adult whole season licence equivalents. The answer is the licence fee. However we have to take other factors into consideration such as the perceived market value of the licence, and how much people are prepared to pay to go fishing and hunting.
The income from licence fees goes towards work on various fronts - including efforts to protect the habitat of freshwater fish and game birds, especially wetlands and rivers.
New Zealand has 15 Water Conservation Orders – these are like giving National Park status to a river or waterway. Fish & Game was responsible for securing 12 of them.
At times, it takes legal action in the courts to ensure the environment is protected from exploitation and pollution.
Fish & Game also leads the way in ensuring New Zealand’s streams, rivers and lakes are safe for swimming, fishing and food gathering.
The organisation also takes a prominent role in ensuring that the public has access to the magnificent outdoors New Zealand is blessed with.
Its work involves research to find out how trout, salmon and game bird populations are surviving, how well their habitat is being protected and what is affecting the environment.
Fish & Game enhances fish stocks by operating hatcheries to breed and release trout and salmon.
Fish & Game also develops programmes to encourage youth into fishing, as well as innovative science programmes like Fish in Schools, where pupils raise their own trout or salmon from ova through to fingerlings ready for release.
About 17% of Fish & Game New Zealand’s $6 million budget is spent on habitat protection. This includes protection and management of land we own as well as land owned by the public.
15% of the budget is spent on providing services to anglers and hunters. This includes providing general fishing and hunting information, sign posting, and negotiating access opportunities.
8% is spent on community liaison. It is vital that Fish & Game staff spend time engaging with the wider community, and seeks their understanding and support for its work.
7% is spent on enforcing its ‘rules and regs.’ This does not reflect the true cost of compliance because Fish & Game uses honorary rangers who give their time free of charge to monitor angling and hunting and enforce the regulations.
The cost of licensing is about 12% of the budget. It costs Fish & Game New Zealand $5 for every licence we sell and this includes the production of the licence and the guide books we give out. We also provide a commission to licence agents.
The cost of running Fish & Game Councils is around 7% of the overall budget. This includes the cost of meetings and the large amount of staff time involved.
About 10% of the Fish & Game New Zealand budget is spent on planning and financial reporting.
Sports fishing and game hunting licences are valid for use throughout the country (except in the Chatham Islands and Taupo fishery, which is managed by the Department of Conservation - www.doc.govt.nz).
Most of the nine types of licences on offer allow you to fish the whole country (except Taupo) with the exception of the Local Area Licence, which can only be used in one chosen Fish & Game region, and no others.
When buying a licence from a retail outlet or Fish & Game Council office, the licence is automatically recorded as a licence sold within that region. If you indicate on the licence that you wish to register as an elector for Fish and Game Council elections, you’ll be put on the electoral roll for the region where you bought the licence, unless you ask to be registered on another region’s electoral roll.
If you bought your licence online, or the 0800 service, you need to specify the region that reflects your main area of use, and the one in which you wish to register as an elector for Fish & Game Council elections.
Everyone. People who want to go freshwater fishing or game bird hunting must have a licence for each sport. There is no limit on the number of licences that can be sold each year, and licences are not transferable or tradeable.
Sports Fish: The Freshwater Fisheries Regulations 1983 Schedule 1 defines the following species as “sports fish”:
- Brown trout (Salmo trutta):\
- Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, formerly known as Salmo gairdneri):
- American brook trout or char (Salvelinus fontinalis):
- Lake trout or char (Salvelinus namaycush):
- Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar):
- Quinnat or chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha):
- Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka):
- Perch (Perca fluviatilis):
- Tench (Tinca tinca):
- Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) found or taken in the Auckland Acclimatisation District—
and includes any hybrid and the young, fry, ova, and spawn, and any part of any such fish; but does not include salmon preserved in cans and imported into New Zealand.
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
- 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)
- Grey partridge (Perdix perdix): except on Chatham Islands
- Red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa rufa): except on Chatham Islands
- 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).
- Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus): except on Chatham Islands
- Brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora): except on Chatham Islands
- California quail (Callipepla californica): except on Chatham Islands
You can buy your licence in several ways:
- Online: by visiting our online licence system
- By phone: Call our freephone licence number (0800-542 362)
- In person: Visit any Fish & Game office or regional licence agent (view your local region's pages to find address and contact details of local licence agents - fishing and outdoor stores, etc)
All foreign nationals – overseas visitors – whose primary place of residence is not New Zealand must buy a non-resident licence or One Day licence. More information – click here.