Leashed dogs on beaches help keep native wildlife safe
Image: Benhi Dixon | Creative Commons


Our native wildlife needs as much protection as we can provide. Even the most obedient, domesticated dogs and cats can reveal their predatory instincts in the wild.

Why dog access is controlled

Our conservation land is vitally important for the survival of endangered species. Many of our native birds are flightless and have few or no defences against predation. A dog is capable of sniffing out and killing a kiwi with ease and uncontrolled dogs can easily kill remaining kiwi populations.

Controlling dog access also protects and respects other people’s right to use and enjoy public conservation land.

When out with your dog

  • Keep your dog under control at all times.
  • A dog out of sight is a dog out of control.
  • Carry a leash and use it.
  • Ensure that your dog does not disrupt other people's enjoyment of the park.
  • Clean up after your dog.

Disease control

Help prevent the spread of dog borne diseases.

  • If you're planning to enter or to pass across farmland with your dog you must have permission from the farm owner.
  • To prevent the spread of diseases such as sheep measles and E coli you may be requested to have your dog treated. More about sheep measles.
  • Dog droppings may contain harmful bacteria or diseases that can easily spread to farm animals, so be sure to remove your dog’s waste.
  • If you're taking dogs into areas with kauri, know what to do to help stop the spread of kauri dieback.

If you ignore the conditions, rules or regulations

You may be issued an infringement fine or prosecuted if you take your dogs into no access areas, controlled areas without a permit, or breach the conditions of your permit.

A dog may be seized and impounded or destroyed if it's found in a national park or controlled dog area without a permit.

More about DOC's enforcement tools

Other pets

No pets are permitted in national parks or dog prohibited areas unless express written approval is granted.

In some cases, other pets can be restricted from conservation land that is open to dogs. This may be for biosecurity reasons or active pest control programmes. Traps or sentry bait stations may have been set, posing an injury or poisoning risk to your pet.

Back to top