Recreational Hunting Areas

Recreational hunting areas or RHAs were set aside for the enjoyment of recreational hunting. Provided recreational hunters keep wild animal numbers at acceptable levels, commercial wild animal recovery is not permitted.

Ten RHAs were created between 1980 and 1986, in response to a dramatic decline in deer populations and concern from hunters that opportunities for recreational hunting were being severely restricted. Two of these areas (Waiotapu and north-west Nelson) no longer operate as RHAs.

The establishment and management of RHAs is provided for under Part 3 of the Wild Animals Control Act (1977), which is administered by the Department of Conservation.

North Island recreational hunting areas:

South Island recreational hunting areas:

Related link

Where to hunt


Find out more

Hunting permit online.

Apply online for a hunting permit or renew.



Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies