Read entry permit and biosecurity conditions for a visit to Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island.

Should your application to enter Little Barrier Island be successful, you will receive a permit which explains the conditions under which you may visit Little Barrier Island (Hauturu-o-Toi). These conditions are necessary not only to protect the island, but also to protect you from unwittingly offending against the provisions of the Reserves Act 1977.

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Entry permit conditions

The permit must be carried with you on to the island otherwise access will not be granted.

The holder of the permit (the Permit Holder) and the people named (the Party) are authorised to enter Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Nature Reserve (the Island), subject to the conditions set out below.

The Permit Holder is responsible for ensuring compliance by all members of the party with the conditions of this permit.  

  1. The Permit Holder must contact the Island Ranger on +64 27 399 3355 the night before the scheduled arrival at the island to confirm if landing conditions are considered suitable. Should the ranger confirm that landing is not suitable, then no attempt at landing is permitted to take place. Safety of any landing will be the sole repsonsibility of the permit holder and their boat operator. This will be based on the boat operator's assessment of the landing conditions and their capabililty of carrying out a safe landing. The permit holder and the boat operator need to take into account that conditions may deteriorate or become unsafe, even after confirmation received from the ranger that conditions for landing are suitable at the time of the check call. The Department of Conservation will not be responsible for any mishap or accident occurring during landing or departing.
  2. Predepature biosecurity checks are mandatory for all party members and gear taken onto the Island. Biosecurity procedures, as advised by the Mahurangi/Warkworth Biosecurity staff, are to be followed. All boots, clothing and gear must be thoroughly cleaned prior to departure and be free of any dirt or seeds.
  3. All gear taken onto the Island must be sealed containers that are pest free and suitable for a rough and wet landing.  
  4. Sea transport to and from the Island must be organised by the Party and landings may only be carried out at the two recognised landings; Main Landing (Boat Shed) or West Landing. Transport must be in a vessel approved by the Department. A tender to ferry the Party ashore must be arranged.  
  5. Immediately on arrival at the Island, the Party must report to the Island Ranger, present their permit and comply strictly with his/her directions.
  6. The following activities are prohibited, any breach of which will constitute an offence:
    • Taking firearms, animals, seeds, vegetation, invertebrates, soil or mud on to the Island. Every precaution must be taken to prevent the introduction of rodents and other pests.
    • Disturbing any wildlife or damaging vegetation on the Island. No wildlife, nests, eggs, vegetation, seeds, flowers, cuttings or any other element of the island e.g. driftwood may be damaged or taken from the Island.
    • Venturing beyond the visitor track network. The Party must take advice from the Island Ranger on the tracks that are available for public use and, apart from the coast and the flat areas of Te Maraeroa, must not venture off the tracks.
    • Using tape recorders or photographing nests without prior permission from the Department.
    • Interfering with any research or management programme being undertaken on the Island.
    • Interfering with, or damaging any sign, notice, equipment or other property on the Island.
    • Polluting the Island with rubbish, sewage or other means. All rubbish must be removed at the end of your visit.
    • Lighting any fires on the Island. Liquid and solid fuel cookers may not be taken to the Island and cooking is confined to the bunkhouse. Smoking is also prohibited except in places specified by the Island Ranger.
    • Leaving the bunkhouse during the hours of darkness without the consent of the Island Ranger.
    • Undertaking or engaging in any commercial activity, including filming or photography for commercial purposes without a relevant concession from the Department of Conservation.
  7. The Department reserves the right to search visitor’s gear upon arrival and prior to departure from the island.
  8. The Permit Holder is responsible for the transport, accommodation and safety of themselves and the Party, and shall indemnify the Department against any claim which may be made against it in respect of any damage or injury arising out of the exercise of this permit. The Permit Holder is responsible for arranging any emergency evacuation from the Reserve for themselves or any member of the Party, whether by reason of illness, accident or any other eventuality. Should the Permit Holder require the assistance of the Department in this regard, the cost of such assistance shall be met in full by the Permit Holder.
  9. Any breach of these conditions will automatically revoke this permit and make the Permit Holder and the Party liable for prosecution for being unlawful on the Nature Reserve.
  10. All members of the Party must be named on the permit and are individually accountable for their actions on the island.

It is emphasised that Little Barrier Island is a Nature Reserve and any handling or disturbance of wildlife is prohibited without prior permission under the Wildlife Act 1953.  The attention of the Permit Holder is drawn to the provisions of the Reserves Act 1977 and the Wildlife Act 1953, the Regulations made there under and the penalties therein prescribed.

Biosecurity conditions

Biosecurity conditions are in place to minimise the risk of ecological damage to Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island Nature Reserve, through the inadvertent introduction of potential pest species such as rodents, invertebrates, weeds, fungi and disease.

Following these conditions will ensure you meet the conditions of entry permit. Failure to do so will result in delays or cancellation of your permit and of your trip.

The designated group leader has the responsibility and accountability to ensure the following conditions are adhered to and that all members of the party are familiar with and comply with them. If for some reason a condition outlined below cannot be adhered to, the onus is on you to advise DOC and to seek a mutually agreed ‘one-off’ solution. Most of the rules require action prior to arrival at the embarkation point. Make sure your group is fully aware, in advance, of the requirements.

  1. The Biosecurity Checklist (see below) must be used and the required actions implemented by every person travelling to Little Barrier Island before departure. Please copy and distribute to your group.
  2. Great care must be taken with personal gear being taken ashore. Gear must be packed and checked in rodent-free areas immediately prior to departure, packed into fish bins and then sealed. 
  3. All gear to be taken ashore should remain in a sealed container at all times in transit.
  4. On arrival at the Island, all personal gear must be taken directly to the Island’s quarantine store and, with the door and windows firmly shut, fully unpacked and checked. You will be provided with a daypack to use while on the Island.
  5. Do not throw away any food waste while on the Island. Apple cores, unwanted fillings from sandwiches, citrus peelings, etc. must be kept in your bag and taken off the Island when you depart. Cucumbers are not allowed on the Island.
  6. Wherever possible use proper toilet facilities. If this is not practical, bury all toilet waste to at least 15 cm, and avoid areas closer than 15 m to any water way.
  7. If you observe any previously undetected pest or disease or any evidence of suspected pest or disease presence you must notify the Island Ranger immediately. 

Full details on the purpose and justification for these regulations can be found in the full Auckland Conservancy Island Biosecurity Plan, available at the DOC office.

Alternatively, staff at the DOC office are willing to discuss any concerns or queries with you, to ensure a safe and successful trip, both for you and for Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island.

Biosecurity checklists

Download the checklists:


Mahurangi / Warkworth Office
Phone:   +64 9 425 7812
Address:   Unit 12
30 Hudson Road
Postal Address:   PO Box 474
Warkworth 0941

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