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The 12 Fish & Game Regions

The 12 regional Fish & Game councils are the statutory managers of sports fish and game bird resources and their sustainable recreational use by anglers and hunters New Zealand-wide (except in the Chatham Islands and for fishing in the Lake Taupo catchment where it is managed by the Department of Conservation).

Use the clickable map on the homepage or click on a region link below, to read more about the role of the local Fish & Game Council in each region, as well as to find freshwater fishing and game bird hunting information specific to that region.


The Northland Fish and Game Region extends from a line midway to a point between the North Head and South Head of the Kaipara Harbour, then running due east to a point just North of Wellsford and then a line running northeast to Te Arai Point which is just south of Mangawhai Heads.

The Northland Fish and Game Council administer the fish and game bird resources north of this line up to Cape Reinga and North Cape.


Auckland / Waikato:

The Auckland/Waikato Region offers a wide diversity of freshwater fishing opportunities with many lake, river and back country fisheries, most with easy access and high scenic values.

The Waikato/Hauraki area is also known as the country's ‘Duck Factory.’ Those living in the Auckland/Waikato region have ready access to the best waterfowl hunting in the country – most of it within an hour’s drive of Auckland City.



Fish & Game New Zealand’s Eastern Region offers a large range of fishing opportunities for both lake and river fishing, offering diverse angler experiences, high catch rates and big fish. Something for everyone!

Some of New Zealand's best pheasant and quail hunting is also found in the Eastern Region.


Hawkes Bay:

The Hawke’s Bay Region is a hunting and fishing paradise with four major rivers creating endless opportunities to land a fearsome fighting trout or bag a wiley and crafty game bird.

The Hawke’s Bay Region involves the wilderness and excitement of the Kaweka and Ruahine ranges where all our major rivers orginate from before meandering through the rolling foot hills and out onto the flat and lush plains that make up what is known as the sunny Hawke’s Bay.



The Taranaki Region has many rivers, streams, creeks and ponds that provide good habitat for waterfowl. This translates into consistently good shooting and Taranaki hunters are among the most successful in the North Island.

Most Taranaki trout fisheries have their source within the Egmont or Tongariro National Parks and provide a high quality angling experience in a scenic and un-crowded environment.



The Wellington Region encompasses the area roughly from Waiouru, across to Norsewood and south to Cook Strait. It includes four large river catchments: the Rangitikei, Manawatu, Ruamahanga, and Hutt which provide a very diverse range of opportunities for principally brown trout river fishing.

There is an abundance of game bird hunting opportunities available on public land in the Wellington Fish & Game Region. Some of the very best game hunting is available within two hours drive of the major urban centres.


Nelson / Marlborough:

Fish & Game New Zealand’s Nelson/Marlborough region offers some of the best, most easily accessible brown trout fishing in the country. In fact many of New Zealand’s fishing guides who specialise in sighted brown trout fishing, work in this region.

The many rivers and streams, flats, estuaries, wetlands, and Marlborough Sounds also offer excellent game bird hunting opportunities. Mallard duck are the dominant species with lower numbers of native ducks depending on location.


North Canterbury:

Fish & Game New Zealand’s North Canterbury region offers much to the angler. Without a doubt the star attraction of the region is the sea-run salmon fishery.

Mallard ducks are the most abundant and popular game bird in the region. The paradise shelduck is the next most popular species among hunters in the region and like the mallard, also does well in developed land. The North Canterbury region offers the best Canada goose hunting in the country.


Central South Island:

Fish & Game New Zealand’s Central South Island region extends from the south bank of the Rakaia River in the north, to Moeraki in the south. With their headwaters in the Southern Alps, the Waitaki and the Rangitata are the region’s biggest rivers. These are noted chinook salmon fisheries with trophy fish of 15kg and more being regularly reported. Most of New Zealand’s salmon run is contained within the border of the North Canterbury and Central South Island Fish & Game Regions.

Many of Central South Island's larger riverbeds and lakes are public lands, meaning there is good access to game bird hunting across the region.


West Coast:

The West Coast Fish and Game Region extends from Kahurangi point, north of Karamea, to Awarua point south of Haast. In between lies some 2m hectares, much of it in wilderness. With the pressures of modern life, increasing numbers of anglers rate isolation, peace and solitude almost as highly as the opportunity to fish for wild trout.

Although the West Coast climate is not generally suited to upland gamebirds the Region abounds with habitat for species that require wetlands. Grey and mallard duck, shoveler, Paradise shelduck and Pukeko are the predominant species. Good opportunities also exist for Canada goose hunting.



Fish & Game New Zealand’s Otago region extends from Shag Point on the South Island’s East Coast south to The Brothers Point in the Catlins area. The region runs inland to include the whole of both the Clutha and Taieri River catchments as well as a number of smaller coastal river catchments. The region has some of the most diverse waters for sports fishing in New Zealand, ranging from the unique high country experiences on gin clear Southern Lakes river tributaries to 'put and take' reservoir fisheries in Dunedin City.

Otago pretty much has it all when it comes to game bird hunting opportunity, from hunting mallards on large shallow coastal wetlands, to a wild Canada goose chase around braided riverbeds or upland game hunting in the Central Otago hills.



Southland offers great hunting for waterfowl, with vast areas of pastoral-based agriculture producing a large population of ducks. As a consequence the region has the most consistent mallard hunting in New Zealand.

The Southland Plains are bisected by four major rivers, the Aparima, Waiau, Oreti and Mataura. However, these represent just the starting point in a huge variety of fishing opportunities throughout the province. When you consider the dozens of smaller rivers and streams, as well as the lakes, it’s not too surprising that Southland has the highest participation in angling per capita of any region in New Zealand.