Apply for a permit to collect samples or undertake research on plants, soils, rocks, invertebrates, fresh water fish species or historic materials that are on public conservation land.

You must have permission from DOC if you want to collect samples or undertake research on public conservation land on any of the following:

  • plants
  • soils
  • rocks
  • invertebrates
  • freshwater fish species
  • historic materials.

Pre-application meeting

Applying for a Wildlife Act authorisation for the first time can be complicated. To ensure your application goes smoothly we offer a free pre-application meeting.

We’ll help you to:

  • Understand the authorisation you will need to apply for.
  • Navigate our statutory planning documents, so you can consider whether the activity you wish to undertake is consistent with them.
  • Understand DOC’s responsibility to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, which requires 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.

Apply for authorisation

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

Find out more about the process and how to prepare your application.

Permissions application process

Preparing a permission application

Types of authorisation

A proposed activity is considered complex if it involves:

  • commercial use of the material (a concession will also be required)
  • taking of any sample (including DNA) for genetic modification purposes, eg the creation of a new organism
  • material being removed from New Zealand (except for purely taxonomic classification purposes)
  • the application or conduct of the activity will generate significant public interest
  • methods or species that need more complex consideration by DOC
  • covers a large number of locations.


Complex applications could take a number of months to be processed and will take longer than standard applications.

Complex applications are likely to have more significant environmental effects.

To get your permit as quickly as possible, be specific about the area(s) and species you would like to research. A broader permit that covers many regions and/or species takes much longer to process because it requires considerable liaison between district offices, as well as consultation with multiple iwi.

If your application involves large areas, or the whole of New Zealand, you must also clearly express the conservation benefit or we will request that you narrow your application down.  


Standard applications

For standard applications your fee is likely to be $400 plus GST ($460 including GST) for commercial activities (there is no charge for non-commercial). We will invoice you once we have processed your application.

Complex applications

Your fee will be $800 plus GST ($920 including GST) for commercial applications (including registered companies). There is no charge for non-commercial applications. We will invoice you once we have processed your application. If the application is particularly complex then further costs may be charged above the estimated fee.

Research and collection authorisations

We recommend you check the standard authorisation for your activity before you make an application so you know what to expect and what will be expected of you. If the authorisation is not listed here, get in touch.

Contact us

For more information or assistance with your application, contact the nearest of these DOC offices.

Back to top