Fish & Game's game bird hunting licences are valid for use throughout New Zealand (except in the Chatham Islands).

Your licence is a permit to hunt game birds in line with the regulations governing the Fish & Game New Zealand region you're hunting in. It does not grant or imply any right of access over land. If you want to walk over private land, please first get the land occupier's permission.

You must buy and sign your licence before you go hunting. You must then carry your licence with you whenever you're hunting or carrying assembled hunting gear.

Licences are not upgradable, exchangeable or refundable.

Report lost or stolen licences to your local Fish and Game office and they'll issue you with a replacement.

You can view below more information on game bird hunting licence categories, terms and conditions and hunting licence FAQs.

Occupier of any land

(S19(3), Wildlife Act 1953)

“…the occupier of any land, and the spouse or partner and any one son or daughter of the occupier, may, during an open season, hunt or kill on that land without a licence (but subject to all other restrictions imposed by game regulations.)”

The occupier of the land is normally the owner if she/he personally resides on the land, but this privilege can be transferred to farm manager or sharemilkers by a written statement indicating such to Fish and Game if the owner does not personally reside on the land. Note that the Act allows for hunting by three people; the occupier, his/ her wife/husband/civil union partner or de facto partner and one son or daughter on that land - but no other land. Except a run-off farmed in conjunction with that land.


Hunting Licence Categories:

Age Categories:
Adult 18 years and over on 4 May 2024
Junior 12-17 years of age on 4 May 2024
Child 1-11 years of age on 4 May 2024

Whole Season Licence:
Entitles the holder to hunt or kill game at any time during the open season for game in (a) the region for which the licence is issued; and (b) all other regions

Day licence:
Entitles the holder to hunt or kill game, these licences are only available after the second Sunday after opening day of the new season, during one (1) day in the open season for game inclusive in (a) the region for which the licence is issued; and (b) all other regions.

Buying Your Licence:

You can purchase your licence in several ways:

  • Online: by visiting our online licence system
  • By phone: Call our freephone licence number 0800 LICENCE (0800 542 362) during business hours ($5 booking fee)
  • In-person: Visit any Fish & Game office or regional licence agent.

View our hunting frequently asked questions here.

Licence Profile Update Request

Have you changed your address/phone number/email recently and would like to update your information on the licencing database? You should have one profile so this would cover both your fish & game (if you have both) licences.

Please select here to fill in the details that are needed to be updated.

Yes. The rules allow for upland game hunting (pheasant, quail) with lead. The reason behind this is that waterfowl are susceptible to lead poisoning through uptake of lead pellets - with lead normally being concentrated in or around shallow ponds, wetlands, and on the edges of deeper ponds.

For upland game, the spread of lead shot is much more diffuse and spent pellets are distributed over a wider area - making them less likely to be picked up by birds. Quail also select for a smaller grit size than most pellets used - therefore are less likely to be affected.

No. The rules will relate to the possession of lead for waterfowl hunting - so you can't chop and change in the field. If you are going duck hunting it's non-toxic shot eg steel shot, if you are hunting pheasants you can use either steel (or other non-toxic shot) or lead shot, if you are hunting both ducks and pheasant then its non-toxic only. However, you cannot simply say you were hunting pheasant.

It will be up to you to show the ranger that you are indeed hunting pheasant - no duck callers, no ducks hanging off your belt, etc and if you're sitting in the maimai with full camo gear... "I'm waiting for pheasants to fly past" won't wash either.

Non toxic shot will be required within 200m of water bodies over 3 metres wide of all PUBLIC AREAS (such as DoC land and lakes, Fish & Game areas, harbours) and all PRIVATE LAND (all wetlands and ponds).

All hunters are required to use non-toxic shot - this includes landowners/occupiers who can also hunt on their own land.