The Auckland region is at Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 2.

Huntng at Alert Level 3 - Auckland region

Hunting on public conservation land within the Auckland region is allowed, as long as it’s close to home and does not involve hunting in a motorised vehicle or the hunting and killing of gamebirds.

Hunters are not permitted to stay in DOC huts or campgrounds and hunting must also be consistent with the usual local area restrictions.

Hunters will need the appropriate hunting permit or hold the required concession and abide by Ministry of Health guidelines.

Hunting at Alert Level 2 - rest of New Zealand

Hunting on public conservation land is allowed. Hunters will need the appropriate hunting permit or hold the required concession and abide by Ministry of Health guidelines.

Apply for a hunting permit

Recreational hunters can apply for an open area hunting permit. Hunters should first check their existing permit as it may still be current.

If you require an open area hunting permit use the online system in the first instance.

Apply for an open area hunting permit online.

If you cannot access the online system, or you need a game bird or small game hunting permit, you will need to contact the DOC office in the area you wish to go hunting.

Rules around hunting dogs vary from area to area – check the rules for the area you wish to go hunting by visiting the relevant web page, or ask our staff when you contact them by phone or email.

Game bird hunting

The game bird season opened on 23 May. DOC district offices can issue small game and game bird hunting permits for duck hunting on public conservation land and waters. Fish & Game has the latest information about how COVID-19 will affect the game bird season.

Fish & Game - COVID-19 information

Deer roar ballots

Some hunting blocks assigned to hunters as part of the 2020 deer roar ballots did not go ahead during Alert Levels 3 and 4. Ballot holders can choose to have their allocated block transferred to the same period next year. Where ballot holders did have the opportunity to take up their blocks, these will be either re-drawn in a limited ballot, or made available to book for 2021. We will contact ballot holders whose hunting trips were partially affected by COVID-19 in due course.

DOC staff are focused on ensuring any hunting ballots or bookings planned for the next few months go ahead. Once this process is complete we will contact affected ballot holders regarding next year’s ballots and hunting blocks.

The following roar ballots were affected by COVID-19. If hunters were unable to hunt on the hunting block, their ballot will be rolled over to 2021.

Northern South Island

  • Molesworth roar ballot

West Coast

  • Haast roar ballot

Southern South Island

  • Wanaka roar ballot
  • Greenstone/Caples roar ballot
  • Coastal Otago ballots: Waianakarua, Glencoe, Mill Creek, Waipori Falls
  • Murihiku ballots: Waikaia, Leithen Bush, MacLennan, Tautuku, Blue Mountains
  • Rakiura/Stewart Island booking system.

Restricted hunting areas

Nationally there are approximately 110 restricted hunting areas that are available to the public and managed by DOC. These areas sit outside the online open area hunting blocks and the popular roar and rut ballots.

Prior to moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 4, some hunters will have had a permit or booking to hunt in a restricted hunting area. Due to COVID-19 restrictions these bookings did not go ahead. Permits will not be rolled over and hunters will need to contact their local DOC district office to apply for a new restricted hunting permit/booking.

DOC is honouring any remaining restricted hunting permits or bookings (booked prior to Alert Level 4). Restricted hunting permits will be subject to any COVID-19 restrictions that may apply, as well as local restrictions.

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