Fish & Game says launch of new fishing licences offers 'nine ways to catch a fish'

  • 17/08/2015

Fish & Game New Zealand is preparing to introduce four new types of fishing licence to provide more choice and flexibility – so both current anglers or newcomers to the sport can buy a licence that “best fits their lifestyle.”

2015 Fish Plastic Licence image 0“Our research has shown that anglers want a lot more choice so they can buy a licence that best fits their personal circumstances, their lifestyle and age and stage,” says Chief Executive Bryce Johnson.

“Now with the introduction of four new types of licence, it means there are ‘nine different ways to catch a fish’ – whether you are a hard-core angler who fishes all year or a holidaymaker who plans to fish for just a few days, you’ll find the licence to suit your needs.”

Mr Johnson says the new range of licences was designed after Fish & Game undertook a significant review of its licensing system to ensure it was meeting people’s changing needs.

“We canvased the views of licence holders in a major research project – the new licence categories are the direct result of that process.”

Mr Johnson says the changes represent Fish & Game’s biggest overhaul of the licensing system for some time. Last year a new Non-Resident Licence was introduced for overseas visitors which brought New Zealand in line with other countries.

The four new licence categories on sale from 20 August 2015 (for the new fishing season beginning 1 October, 2015 ) are Loyal Senior Licence, Local Area Licence, Short Break Licence and Long Break Licence.

Mr Johnson says that a whole season (full year) licence priced at $124 remains Fish & Game’s “premium” product, offering a full year’s fishing anywhere in the country, except Taupo which has a separate licence administered by the Department of Conservation.

The Loyal Senior Licence priced at $105 “gives something back to those long-time older anglers who have been consistent buyers of fishing licences over the years,” he says.

“To qualify for one, you need to be over 65 and have held an adult Whole Season Licence for at least the last five seasons in a row.

“This is real value – and something of a reward for those anglers’ long-term support for the management and upkeep of our fisheries.”

The Local Area Licence ($99) is for those who live in a particular region, who only fish their favoured “home patch” and have no intention of fishing in other parts of the country.

“If you are say a Rotorua resident who only fishes the Rotorua lakes for example, this provides a better fit. It may be another option to consider for those on fixed incomes or tighter budget who want to save on the purchase of a Whole Season Licence or Family Licence but still remain in the game.”

However those who choose a Local Area Licence need to be fully aware that if they want to fish outside their nominated region, they will need a licence for that area as well, otherwise they will be treated as ‘fishing without a licence,’ Mr Johnson says.

“And bear in mind also that for only $25 more you could fish the whole country and enjoy the greater flexibility a whole season licence provides.”

The short and long break licences are ideal for say holidaymakers who don’t want to fish year-round, but still plan to fish reasonably hard for relatively short periods of more than a day.

The Short Break Licence at $45 is something of a bargain – in that it provides a three day licence for little more than the price of two days, he says.

It offers greater flexibility than a day licence allowing the holder to say, fish over a long holiday weekend. The extra time means that allowances can be made for bad weather or delayed travel plans, “there is still time to fit your fishing in.”

The angler must specify a defined start time which is to be stated in advance.

Mr Johnson says the Long Break Licence ($87) runs over nine days, and provides the opportunity to fish over two weekends and the week days in between.

“It provides a great choice for someone who is planning a longer holiday with plenty of angling. Again the angler must specify a defined start time.”

Mr Johnson says the new categories are only for adults because juniors between the ages of 12 and 18 are already well catered for with inexpensive whole season ($25) and day licences ($5). Children under the age of 12 are entitled to a free licence.

“We’ve dropped the price of One Day Licences in response to research which showed people felt they weren’t getting enough value for money.”

These licences costing just $20 are pitched at those who’ve never fished but want to have a go, he adds, and they’re available to both New Zealanders and overseas visitors.

Mr Johnson emphasises Family and Winter licences are still available under the same terms and conditions.

“We can assure those people who’ve always bought Family Licences ($161), which allow parents or grandparents to take several kids fishing, that they remain unchanged and offer excellent value where a number of family members fish together.”

The four new licences will only be sold through outdoor recreation stores offering ‘agency online’, that is, those with broadband electronic licensing capability, or online through the Fish & Game website.

Mr Johnson says Fish & Game will keep canvasing views and do our best to act on people’s wishes, with a view to continuing to offer great flexibility and potential savings so that more New Zealanders can take part in a great pastime.”


Fish & Game’s new licences – question and answer

Why change the current range of licences?

Quite simply, our research has shown that anglers want more choice. Both experienced anglers and those new to the sport expect a greater range and more flexibility in their licences to better fit with when and where they fish, and how long for. This represents a refinement of our licencing system to better cater for people’s changing needs and wants – based on in-depth research and sounding out the views of our licence holders.

I’m a long-time angler who’s always bought a Whole Season Licence – can I still do that?

Yes, the Whole Season Licence hasn’t changed and is still regarded as our premium product. But now, if you’re over 65 and been a long term licence holder or you only fish in one area, never outside it, you have more choice. Check out the Loyal Senior Licence that rewards loyalty after reaching 65. If you only ever fish in one region then consider a Local Area Licence. So, you now have more licence types to choose from giving you the best value licence for your personal circumstances. Read on for more details on these new licence categories.

So what are all the new licences on offer?

Let’s start by explaining what hasn’t changed. As we’ve said, you can still buy a Whole Season licence ($124), a Winter licence ($74), for six months from April 1 over winter, a Family ($161) licence that allow say, parents or grandparents to take several of their under 18year old kids fishing and a non-resident licence ($161) for overseas visitors.

The big change is a new set of four fishing licences introduced to cater specifically for adults. Juniors (under 18) are already well catered for with inexpensive whole season licences ($25). We’ve dropped the price of 24 hour licences in response to research that showed people felt they weren’t getting value for money. It’s now called a One Day Licence.

How do you qualify for a Loyal Senior Licence?

As it sounds, the Loyal Senior Licence ($105) recognises older anglers with a consistent licence buying history. It’s been introduced in response to lots of requests from older anglers who have invested a great deal in the organisation over the years. To qualify, you need to be over 65 and have held a Whole Season or Family Licence for the previous five seasons (to be confirmed by the Fish and Game licence database). It’s not available in a family licence version as this is already a discounted licence category. A Loyal Senior licence holder is still eligible for the ‘back country endorsement’, and can register as a Fish & Game elector, and will be sent the annual fishing edition of the Fish & Game Magazine.

How does the Local Area Licence work?

This well-priced ($99) licence is designed to cater for those on a tighter budget who only fish in one particular Fish & Game Region in a season. If you only fish say, the Rotorua Lakes, or in Otago, then the Local Area Licence offers great value. But you need to be very clear that if you fish outside the nominated region, you’ll need to get an additional licence such as the adult whole season, otherwise you’ll be treated as ‘fishing without a licence.’ This new category also allows the holder to apply for back country licence endorsements, register as an elector for the specified Fish & Game Council, and receive the fishing edition of the Fish & Game Magazine.

What about the short and long break licences, who are they aimed at?

The Short Break Licence ($45) is a three-day licence. Research confirmed the popularity of this category, particularly among day licence holders looking for a longer option. It offers greater flexibility than a day licence to allow for bad weather, delayed travel plans, or say, fishing over a long holiday weekend. The angler must specify a defined start time that is stated in advance.

The Long-Break Licence ($87) runs over nine days giving you the opportunity to fish over two weekends and the days in-between. It provides a perfect choice for someone off to the bach for a summer break who intends to get in plenty of angling and do other things. Again the angler must specify a defined start time.

Both the Short-Break and Long-Break licences are available as ‘receipt only’ types of licence so you won’t receive a plastic credit card-style licence as you would with a Whole Season Licence.

Why are the new licence categories not available to non-resident anglers?

The adult Non-Resident Licence was introduced for the 2014 season reflecting the popularity and value of New Zealand's fisheries as world class opportunities. Additional revenue generated from this category of licence will be used specifically for the improvement of backcountry fisheries – taken to mean those waters that provide some truly spectacular angling experiences, are popular with non-resident anglers and are inherently sensitive and need careful management.

Its introduction restricts the eligibility for other licence categories, apart from the One Day licence, to resident anglers only. The One Day licence remains available to all anglers and there is no additional cost to non-residents in the purchase of this category. This means tourists who want to try a trout fishing experience for a couple of hours on a charter boat or spend the day fishing alone, can do so with this short-term licence.

A non-resident licence is a whole season licence and as such, is eligible for a free endorsement to fish designated backcountry waters – on application to the relevant Fish and Game Council.

How and where will the new licences be sold?

All licences, including the new categories, are sold electronically via ‘agency online’ method, (that is, Licence Agents using the Agency Online facility), or purchased online through the Fish & Game website. Just look up our website, click on the dark orange ‘licences’ heading for more information or simply BUY NOW by following the instructions.

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