Hunting in Central South Island Public Lands

Central South Island
Ballot stands

Central South Island
Wetland Permits

CSI Managed Wetlands hunting ballots open now


The opportunity to access some of the best public land areas for game bird hunting in New Zealand starts today. 

Even though duck hunting season doesn’t start till the 4st of May, now is the time to get ready for the new season. 

Hunters who would like to hunt on some premium public land in South Canterbury and North Otago during Opening Weekend are being offered the chance to sign up for four balloted hunting areas. 

Today, the first of February, the ballot for public hunting stands in the Central South Island Fish & Game (CSIFG) region opened. 

Up to 15 hunting parties can hunt across Wainono Wetland reserve, All Day Bay, Ealing Springs and Devils Bridge sites that are owned or managed on hunter’s behalf by CSIFG. 

For those hunters wishing to ballot for Wainono Wetland: there is currently uncertainty around access across Poingdestres Bridge.

Central South Island Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens says, “The hunting areas we have available for hunters are perfect for someone who may be new to the area or wants to branch out and try somewhere new.” 

“They have been set up so that hunters have the best chance of success and to make it easy for hunters to access and use. 

The wetlands offer a variety of game bird species to pursue coupled with some outstanding scenery. 

They provide a great option for those in search of a new Opening Weekend spot or those looking to try a new spot throughout the season. 

All interested hunters need to do is go to the link below or call the Temuka Office on 03-615-8400 and apply by the 1st of March. 

After opening weekend, any hunter can apply for a permit to hunt these sites from the Temuka Office. 

CSIFG staff have helped hunters out by building carefully selected, purpose designed hunting stands at Wainono Wetland Reserve in order to maximise the hunter’s opportunities for success. 

All ballot winners need to do is go and check out their site pre-season, see what work is required to get it ready for Opening Weekend and then turn up to enjoy some premium hunting.

For more information click here.

To learn more watch a video here:

Public Lands

Many of Central South Island’s larger riverbeds and lakes are public lands. It is still important to advise the adjoining landowner when you wish to hunt these areas. This common courtesy often results in the farmer providing useful information and better access.

Game bird hunting on Department of Conservation managed land is available in certain areas and to hunt there you require a DOC game bird hunting permit. Unlike big game hunting permits, DOC game bird hunting permits are not available from the website, instead you must obtain them and any other localised information by directly contacting or visiting the relevant DOC office. The permits detail unique restrictions and conditions to the DOC district issuing the permit. Be sure to abide by these conditions as this will ensure hunting continues to be available on DOC land in future.

DOC District Office Contacts:

• Raukapuka / Geraldine District Office: ph. 03 6931010, email

• Te Manahuna / Twizel District Office: ph. 03 4350802, email

On or Near Public Land

When hunting on or near public land be aware of two relevant sections of the Arms Act 1983. Section 45 states “Every person commits an offence who, except for some lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose carries; or is in possession of…any firearm.” And “…the burden of proving the existence of some lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose shall lie on the defendant.” Section 48 states “Every person commits an offence … who, without reasonable cause, discharges a firearm … in or near:

(a) a dwelling house; Or

(b) a public place, - so as to endanger property or to endanger, annoy, or frighten, any person.”

The message is clear – be careful and considerate around other people and their property.

Northern Regional Boundary

The Rakaia Riverbed is not within the CSI Fish and Game Region. The northern boundary of the region adjacent to the Rakaia River extends along Acton Road, Rakaia Barrhill Methven Road and Rakaia River Road.

Rangitata Diversion Race

Hunting along the Rangitata Diversion Race is possible but strictly with permission from RDR Management Ltd (ph. 03 3080828) and the adjoining landowners.

Wainono Lagoon

Wainono Lagoon is near the township of Waimate and some 35 km south of Timaru. Adjacent to the coastal shingle beach barrier, the lagoon (lake) at its normal water level (1m above sea level) covers about 350 hectares. The beach barrier, lagoon, and surrounding wetlands provide habitat for some 57 different bird species, many resident and others migratory. Wainono Lagoon is a ‘Conservation Area’ managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Hunting is permitted and DOC game bird hunting permit is required. This can be obtained free of charge by phoning 03 6931010 or There is no ballot system for the lagoon and many of the existing stands are reserved for traditional hunters. Other than possibly during Opening Weekend, there is still plenty of opportunity for visiting hunters.

Access to the lagoon:

  • North side – via Hook Beach Road and then a 4WD track along the beach
  • Middle – via Wainono Lake Road; a track opposite Waimate turnoff on SH1
  • South side – via Foleys Road and then Poindestres Road over the Dead Arm Bridge to the beach and then a walking track along the beach past Maori Lake and the Wainono Wetland Reserve.

Balloted Stands

Depending on water levels, CSI Fish & Game has between 11 and 15 stands available for hunting the Opening Weekend on wetlands it owns or manages. Ballot information, maps and application forms are available here or by contacting the CSI Fish & Game Office in Temuka. Ballot applications are accepted from 1 February to 1 March and the ballot is drawn on the next working day.  

Wetland Permits

Any game bird licence holder wishing to hunt Fish & Game managed wetlands after Opening Weekend are required to obtain a permit from the Central South Island Fish & Game Office in Temuka. Permits can be obtained here or by contacting the CSI office in Temuka. Obtaining a permit will ensure you have up-to-date information on access requirements and rules. 

These permits cover:

  • Wainono Wetland Reserve
  • All Day Bay Lagoon
  • Devil's Bridge Wetland
  • Earling Springs

Mid Summer Duck Season

The summer season runs on the first two weekends in February every year.

Chukar Hunting

A person hunting chukar at any time of the season must, within a month of the end of the season, provide the Central South Island Fish and Game Council with particulars of the dates and locations where they hunted chukar; the number of guns in the hunting party; the number of hours they commenced and ceased hunting each day; the number of birds taken each day; the number of coveys seen each day; an estimate of the average covey size seen each day and whether or not they hunted with a dog. Contact the CSI office if you would like a hunting diary form to help you. Phone 03 6158400 or