Lake Taupō
Image: James Barnett | DOC


DOC urges anglers to take care when buying a Taupō fishing licence this summer.

Date:  22 December 2023

Evidence suggests overseas-based website The Fish Assistant NZ is engaged in illegal activities exploiting people seeking to buy a fishing licence online.

Anglers have been sold licences at inflated prices with no transparency around what they are buying, and no security around personal details and credit card information.

Taupō Fishery Operations Manager Dave Conley says the website appears to be a consultancy service for anglers, however, this seems to be a front for taking advantage of potential licence buyers.

“It looks like they use Google advertising to generate sales leads, which appear as ‘sponsored’ in some search results.

“These sponsored links direct purchasers to a sales page, where the content can be quite misleading.”

DOC is working closely with Fish & Game whose licence holders are also impacted by The Fish Assistant.

“Together we have identified a variety of methods used to mislead anglers, including overcharging for licences, selling incorrect licences, and altering licences to remove the real cost of the licence,” Dave says.

“Both organisations take this issue very seriously, and we are exploring our legal options.”

When searching online for a licence, anglers should avoid clicking on any sponsored links from The Fish Assistant.

The easiest place to buy a Taupō fishing licence is from the dedicated DOC fishing licence online store, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Those preferring to buy a Taupō fishing licence in person can do so at an authorised sales agent, such as a fishing tackle store.

Anglers who have purchased a licence from The Fish Assistant should ensure they have the correct licence for the fishing they intend to do.

Where anglers consider their personal details may have been compromised by using the website, quick action is recommended in securing their credit card and potentially notifying Netsafe and the New Zealand Police.

“We want people out there enjoying our unique fishery this summer, not getting caught up in this, so take a second to check you’re in the right place for an official Taupō Fishery licence,” says Dave.

Background information

  • DOC has a statutory responsibility to manage freshwater trout fishing within the Taupō District.
  • Anglers must purchase and Taupō fishing licence before going fishing.
  • Licences can be purchased 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the DOC fishing licence online store.
  • Licences can also be purchased from authorised agents such as fishing tackle stores.


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