To use a helicopter to carry out aerially assisted trophy hunting, either commercially or for personal gain, you must have a concession from DOC.

Aerially assisted trophy hunting (AATH), also known as heli-hunting, involves flying recreational hunters and their guides into high country areas by helicopter in search of trophy animals.

This includes carrying recreational hunters (and their guide) by helicopter, actively searching for wild animals with trophy potential, on the ground guiding and killing of the wild animal and the recovery of the animal by helicopter.

AATH concessions do not provide approval for the live capture of wild animals. There is also a cull requirement, under DOC supervision. See the AATH permit sample for more information.

Find out how to apply for a concession below. 

Pre-application meeting 

Applying for a concession for the first time can be a little tricky. To ensure your application goes smoothly contact the staff in our Christchurch office.

Type of concession 

If you plan to undertake AATH you will need the following concession: 

  • Longer term concession – for activities held in an area for a period of longer than three months. 

Locations of AATH blocks

There are 62 blocks in the South Island that are available for the activity of AATH. See location maps or email

You will need to state what blocks you are applying for in your application. 

Apply for your concession 

We will invoice you once we have processed your application. The cost of your application will depend on the number of AATH blocks you apply for. The standard fee is $400 plus GST ($460 including GST) plus an additional $115 plus GST ($132.25 including GST) for each additional 10 blocks. 

Your application should be processed within 45 working days of receipt for simple applications. 

If your application is approved we will send you a contract which you must sign and return before proceeding with your activity. 

You will also be required to pay ongoing concession fees.

Safety plan 

As part of your application you will need a safety plan.  

AATH permit 

See our AATH permit sample (PDF, 489K) for an example of what your permit will look like and the conditions it will set out.  

Location maps

Overview: AATH 2014-2019 permit blocks (JPG, 1,192K)

Contact us 

For more information or assistance with your aerially-assisted trophy hunting concession contact our Christchurch office

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