Recreational hunting areas or RHAs were set aside for the enjoyment of recreational hunting. Provided recreational hunters keep wild animal numbers at acceptable levels, commercial wild animal recovery is not permitted.
Ten RHAs were created between 1980 and 1986, in response to a dramatic decline in deer populations and concern from hunters that opportunities for recreational hunting were being severely restricted. Two of these areas (Waiotapu and north-west Nelson) no longer operate as RHAs.
The establishment and management of RHAs is provided for under Part 3 of the Wild Animals Control Act (1977), which is administered by the Department of Conservation.
North Island recreational hunting areas:
- Kaweka (East Coast/Hawkes Bay)
- Kaimanawa (Tongariro/Taupo)
- North Pureora Conservation Park (Waikato)
- Haurangi (Wellington)
South Island recreational hunting areas:
- Lake Sumner - Nina, Doubtful Range, North Hurunui and Hurunui restricted hunting block (Canterbury)
- Oxford - Mt Oxford and Mt Thomas forest parks (Canterbury)
- Greenstone/Caples - beside Lake Wakatipu (Otago)
- Blue Mountains - (Southland)