Introduction

To provide land-based guided activities such as walking, hiking, tramping, climbing, hunting, fishing, biking or motorised vehicles on public conservation land you must have a concession from DOC.

There are a number of tracks in New Zealand that are approved and available for guided walking if certain conditions are met. These are called 'conforming tracks' - see our guided walking (conforming) page for more information.

This application is for land-based activity on tracks that have not been approved as conforming tracks, or, conforming tracks for a term longer than five years

Find out what concession you will need and how to apply for one below if your activity does not involve a conforming track

Pre-application meeting

Applying for a concession for the first time can be a little tricky. To ensure your application goes smoothly we advise you to contact us to have a pre-application meeting. We’ll help you to:

  • Understand the concession you will need to apply for.
  • Navigate our statutory planning documents (conservation management strategies and legislation) to provide information on the consistency or otherwise of your application.
  • Understand DOC’s responsibility to ‘give effect to the principles’ of the Treaty of Waitangi requiring consultation with Treaty Partners on most applications. If you wish, DOC can help you contact the local iwi, hapū, and whānau to assess whether your proposed activity will have any cultural effects. Often this consultation can enhance the activity you are considering.

Type of concession

Depending on what you want to do and when and how you want to do it, you will either need a one-off concession or a longer-term concession.

    • One-off concession – for land-based guiding activities held for a period of no longer than three months.

      As well as complying with all relevant legislation and conservation plans or strategies your planned activity must:
      • have only minor environmental effects that can easily be managed
      • have clearly defined limits (ie number of trips)
      • not involve permanent structures
      • not take place in the same location more than once in any three year period.
  • Longer term concession  – for land-based guiding activities held over a period of longer than three months.

Apply for your concession

Delays in processing

We’re currently receiving a large number of applications and they are taking longer than advised to process.

We're working hard to process older and urgent applications first – advise us on your application form if your permit is urgent. This will help us to prioritise your application against others received at a similar time.

Contact permissions@doc.govt.nz if you have any questions.

Follow the relevant process below for your land-based guided activity. There are additional applications you will need to make if your activity involves anything outside of land-based guiding, such as water or air transport.

One-off activity

Identify the name and status of the public conservation land you wish to use by checking DOC maps.

We will invoice you once we have processed your application. Your fee is likely to be $130 plus GST ($146.50 including GST). 

Your application should be processed within 10 working days of receipt. The timeframe may be longer where iwi consultation is required. If your application is approved we will send you a contract which you must sign and return before proceeding with your activity

Longer term activity

Identify the name and status of the public conservation land you wish to use by checking DOC maps.

We will invoice you once we have processed your application. The processing fee for a standard application for guiding activities is $2565 excluding GST ($2949.75 including GST). If your application is assessed as complex, covers multiple regions, or includes more than 20 individual locations, this fee is likely to be higher. We will send you an estimate of costs once we have received your application.

Your application should be processed within 45 working days of receipt for simple applications (up to 65 working days for complex applications).

If your application is approved we will send you a contract which you must sign and return before proceeding with your activity.

Ongoing concession fees

You will be required to pay ongoing concession fees and guiding activity fees for your land-based guiding activity.

For large operators, this is generally 7.5% of gross revenue but can vary. 

The fees for small operators (>$10,000 gross revenue) and events on DOC land are below. These fees are all charged per person. 

  • Trips less than 1 hour – $1
  • Trips 1-4 hours – $5
  • Trips longer than 4 hours (but not overnight) – $10
  • Overnight – $10 (each additional night costs an extra $10) 

Children between 5 – 17 years inclusive are charged 50% of the above fees. Children under 5 are free.

Note: These fees are currently under review.

There are also different fees which apply to popular cycle tracks.

Safety plan

As part of your application you will need an independently audited safety plan.

Additional applications

If your activity involves more than land-based guiding you will need to complete an application form for the relevant additional activity. 

Contact us

For more information or assistance with your land-based guided activity concession contact the nearest of these DOC offices.


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