Answers to common questions about jobs at DOC, customs, permits and concessions, buying and selling products, and copyright.

Below is a list of commonly asked questions about DOC and our work. The answers are a bit further down.

Note that although this FAQ is designed to be helpful it is not a complete discussion nor a substitute for legal advice. It may not cover important issues that affect you and, depending on your situation, you may wish to contact us for further information or advice.

Jobs at DOC

You may also be interested in reading our FAQ about volunteering.

Customs and the international trade and movement of animal and plant species

Permits and concessions

Buying and selling products

Copyright/links to website

Jobs at DOC

How do I find out about job vacancies at DOC?

Visit the Careers section of this website. Here you can see all of our permanent, temporary and casual employment opportunities. You can also get a copy of our Application for Employment form as well as advice about how to apply. 

What skills and qualifications do I need to gain employment with DOC?

People who are looking for a job with DOC are sometimes required to have a relevant tertiary qualification. However there are positions where a qualification is not required. Read information about qualifications.

Does DOC provide an internship or work placement programme?

DOC is not currently involved work placement programmes. Our Summer Internship Programme has some opportunities for tertiary students with an interest in conservation to gain skills and experience to complement their study.

What do I need to do to become a DOC ranger?

All DOC vacancies, including ranger positions, are advertised on our website.

If you are interested in training as a ranger there are several tertiary institutions throughout New Zealand that offer entry-level conservation qualifications. 

The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology has a formal relationship with DOC and offers the National Certificate in Conservation (Trainee Ranger) programme. This programme is designed to produce graduates with the skills and training to move into trainee ranger positions with DOC.

If I don’t come from New Zealand can I still work for DOC?

To work for DOC you need to be a permanent resident of New Zealand. DOC does have accredited employer status which means it can recruit from overseas for certain positions where there is an identified skill shortage in New Zealand. If you have a current work permit you are eligible to work on temporary contracts. Australians can work freely in New Zealand. DOC does not sponsor people to come and work in New Zealand, nor does it have its own internship programme. More information about working in New Zealand can be found on the Immigration NZ website.

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If there aren’t any jobs available for me right now, should I send you my CV for your files?

No. DOC does not have a register of interest in employment therefore so we won't keep your CV.

Customs and the international trade and movement of animal and plant species

How can I find out about bringing plant and animal species in and out of the country?

Read our Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) pages. Amongst other things you will learn about the process for bringing old ivory, fur coats, coral and shells into New Zealand, as well as regulations around importing animal pelts or skins and bringing exotic species into the country.

What are the regulations for bringing in fishing tackle from overseas?

Because of the risk of introducing, or spreading, invasive pests in New Zealand the regulations around bringing in fishing tackle have been tightened up. You should check the Minstry for Primary Industries Biosecurity website to find out what regulations are in place and what you need to do. In particular there is an Import Health Standard which covers fishing gear (section 6.4).

Can I bring freeze-dried food with me to New Zealand?

The Ministry for Primary Industries allows most freeze-dried food providing it:

  • is shelf stable
  • does not require further cooking (only re-hydration)
  • is commercially prepared and packaged and is still in its original packaging

Can I take seashells I have collected on the beach with me when I leave New Zealand?


Can I send a packet of seeds overseas?

The Ministry for Primary Industries has no restrictions on seeds going overseas, but cannot guarantee that they will be allowed into the chosen country. Declare them as seeds on the customs declaration.

Permits and concessions

Do I need a permit to hold a private event on public conservation land?

A permit is required if your event is a commercial activity. If it is a non-profit exercise (like a wedding ceremony) you will not normally need a permit. However, there may be some restrictions around your activity such as noise, vehicle access, erecting structures and access to specially protected areas. Contact your local DOC office for guidance.

Do I need a permit to set up a camp for an educational trip?

Depending on your planned activities, you would not normally need a permit to set up camp for a primary or secondary school trip. However, if the trip involves research work for tertiary students it is likely you will need a permit. Contact your local DOC office for guidance.

Do I need a permit to take groups into national parks and other conservation areas?

If the activity is commercially based you will require a permit to enter public conservation areas.

Buses, campervans and any other vehicles touring with paid groups, whether from New Zealand or overseas, need to have a permit to guide or drop people off at conservation places, even if this is just simply dropping them off at the area’s carpark.

Overseas tours need to ensure they have their permit organised before entering the country as it can take several weeks to process a permit application. More information can be found on our permits pages.

Do I need a permit to film or take photographs in national parks and other conservation areas in New Zealand?

No, not if it is just for personal use. But if you intend to sell the film or photographs, or use them for any commercial activity, you will need to apply for a concession.

I am a DOC concessionaire. Can I have my details included on your website?

All recreation concessionaires are added to the DOC website as part of the concessions process.

Do I need permission to collect feathers, shells and other native/natural materials?

The most important thing to do before collecting anything is to check whose land you want to collect it from, and to seek the landowner's prior permission.

For land administered by DOC the rules applying to the taking or collecting of feathers, shells and other native/natural materials (and also plants and minerals) vary, depending on whether the relevant land is a national park, a reserve, or a conservation area, which will involve differing considerations and requirements. The safest thing to do is to seek prior permission from the relevant DOC office.

For feathers or other parts of the bodies of absolutely or partially protected wildlife (defined under the Wildlife Act), and their eggs, it is illegal anywhere in New Zealand to collect them without prior written approval from DOC.

All species of red coral and black coral are absolutely protected under the Wildlife Act. 

For shells, no permission is needed unless they are taken from a category of land with a special status e.g. a national park (see earlier comments).

Am I allowed to breed native animals?

DOC will give permits to breed native animals in captivity but special conditions apply. Read DOC's Captive Management Policy for more information.

Do I need a permit to keep a native animal or fish in captivity or as a pet?

You do need a permit to keep native animals or freshwater fish protected under the Wildlife Act 1953. That means practically all native wildlife and includes some insects.

DOC will give permits to keep protected wildlife in captivity for a number of purposes under specific conditions. Read DOC’s Captive Management Policy for more information.

You can contact your local DOC office for more information about protected species or for an application to hold protected wildlife in captivity.

You will need to contact the Ministry for Primary Industries for information about keeping marine species in captivity.

Do you need a permit to do taxidermy on a native animal?

Yes for absolutely protected or partially protected wildlife (see the Wildlife Act 1953). There is no restriction for taxidermy on native game if they have been taken lawfully.

How do I get a permit to visit an island reserve?

You should contact a DOC visitor centre to get a permit to visit an island reserve. Kapiti Island permits can be ordered online.

Buying and selling products

Does DOC sell items of its uniform to the public?

No, DOC does not sell items of its uniform to the public.

Copyright/links to website

Can I use information and photos from the DOC website, and how should I reference any material I use? 

Read our copyright statement to find out how you may use and acknowledge material from the DOC website.

Can I link to your website and can you put a link from your site to mine?

You are welcome to link to the DOC website.

DOC considers requests to link to external websites on a case-by-case basis. We will only link to websites which we consider relevant to the goals of conservation, and links to commercial websites only in exceptional circumstances.

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