Learn about the national WARO permit renewal process, land schedule decisions and the next stages.

July 2023 update

Review process and key outcomes

New national WARO land schedule approved

DOC received feedback on changes to the national WARO land schedule during three rounds of stakeholder consultation. The feedback has been considered against DOC’s obligations under the Wild Animal Control Act 1977 and its statutory planning policies.

Land schedule review report

A report with final recommendations has now been considered and decisions made.

Supporting information listed at the end of the report:

Note: Zoom in to view text on some documents

Where no specific changes have been made the prior WARO land access status remains. 

2023 WARO land schedule maps

The new land schedule maps are available below but cannot be used by operators until accepted as part of a new permit and conditions offer.

Index map (PDF, 2263K)

When will new WARO permits be offered to existing applicants?

DOC has commissioned an independent report into issues and opportunities to build WARO’s contribution to wild animal management. The findings will be taken into consideration when finalising the WARO concession applications and permit conditions report.

It is expected that a decision will be made and new permits offered, to approved applicants, by spring 2023.

Review process and key outcomes

Review of WARO land schedules

  • The terms of the national WARO concessions are periodically reviewed. As part of this process, DOC considers and updates which areas of public conservation land are suitable for WARO - known as a WARO land schedule review.
  • Decisions on WARO land access is based on number of factors including, legal and policy requirements, effects on other users, and the need to manage deer numbers to protect native ecosystems.
  • The latest land schedule review has recently been completed, with maps and information about the changes uploaded to the DOC website.
  • Determining the new North and South Island permit conditions and the applications for WARO concessions is the next step in the process. This is well advanced and a decision is expected by spring 2023.
  • The ‘interim’ national WARO concessions, issued to eligible operators after the expiry of the 2015-2018 concession, remain active until the new concession is offered.

Key outcomes of the WARO land schedule review

There are 8.7 million hectares of public conservation land. 8.4 million hectares (96.6%) of this is included in the new schedule but not all was under review. Of this, 6.4 million hectares is accessible to WARO at some time annually (76.2%). This is 0.1% higher than the total accessible to WARO since the last change in 2015.

The conservation land within the schedule is designated either:

  • Permitted (accessible to WARO all year except for Christmas and the roar exclusion periods, or
  • Restricted (accessible to WARO only during certain seasons or periods), or
  • Not Permitted (national WARO isn’t allowed at any time during the year).

Within the 6.4 million hectares accessible to WARO, just over 4 million hectares is Permitted all year (but for Christmas and the roar). This is a 2.3% reduction since 2015. 2.4 million hectares is Restricted to part of a year (a 4.2% increase). This reflects our desire to facilitate appropriate WARO access whilst considering the role of recreational hunters.

Decisions on other specific public conservation land can be viewed in the table on the Department’s website. Where there is no specified decision, the existing status remains.

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