A Fish and Game Council’s sports fishing or game bird hunting licence is valid for the region specified on the licence if it is a ‘Local Area Licence’ or throughout New Zealand (excluding the Taupo Fishing District) for all other Fish and Game licence categories.
In becoming a Fish and Game licence holder you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by the following terms and conditions.
A range of licences to choose from –
Make sure you know which licence you are eligible to buy and which one best suits the time and range of fishing or hunting
you wish to do. Check the Fish & game website
Means of purchase -
Licences can be purchased from Fish & Game licence agents or ‘retailers’ using the Agency Online facility or purchased through the Fish & Game website. It is also possible to purchase a licence via the 0800 Licence number (0800 542 362) if you do not wish to do so electronically.
Applying for a licence online -
By applying for a licence in electronic form an applicant consents to the provision of the licence in that form in accordance with the Electronic Transaction Act 2002.
Applicant’s Information –
An applicant must specify the licence holder’s full name, postal address, telephone number (if any), and date of birth.
Valid Licence -
A licence is not valid until the holder has signed his or her usual signature in the space provided for the purpose on the plastic licence, or by means of an electronic signature on a digital licence.
Licensed to fish or hunt -
A licence is not transferable to a person who is not named on the licence.
A receipt and a ‘plastic’ licence –
When buying a licence over the internet or the 0800 licence number (0800 542 362) you will receive via email, immediately on confirmation of payment, a receipt with licence number and details. This receipt is your licence if buying a short term licence. If you buy a winter or any category of whole season licence, a receipt will be sent by email immediately, followed by a ‘plastic’ licence sent to your postal address. If your ‘plastic’ licence has not arrived in the post after 10 days from the time of issue, please contact the licence administrator at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Regulations guide –
All licence holders must comply with the regulations set by Fish and Game Councils.
A free copy of these regulations is available to the licence holder at the time of buying a licence.
They are also available on the Fish & game website
and the NZ Gazette website
Note that these regulations are strict liability offences which means ignorance of the existence of them is no excuse
is for a couple and their children or grandchildren who are under 18 years on 1st October - 1 person (the primary licence holder) and spouse or partner (the secondary licence holder) and children. This licence is not for adult age children to fish with their elders. The secondary licence holder may take the children fishing (and fish themselves in the company of the children) without the primary holder being present. However, only the primary licence holder may use this licence to fish independently.
Local area licence
entitles the holder to fish in just one Fish & Game region named on the licence. This licence is not for those who wish to fish in more than one region. To fish outside the boundary of the region specified on a local area licence is the equivalent of fishing without a licence.
You are a Non-resident
if you are a person who, on 1 October, is not a resident. Resident means a person who, on 1 October:
- is a New Zealand Citizen; or
- ordinarily resides in New Zealand
A person who is not a 'resident' must hold a Non-resident Season fishing licence or a Non-resident Day licence. To fish with other licence categories is the equivalent of fishing without a licence.
Must hold a licence –
It is an offence to take sports fish or game birds at any time, unless that person is the holder of a licence and does so during the open season. Fishing or hunting without the appropriate licence is also deemed to be doing so without a licence.
Licence is a permit to fish or hunt –
Your licence is a permit to fish for sports fish or hunt for game in accordance with the regulations governing the Fish and Game region in which you are fishing or hunting. Please note there are two levels of regulations, those that apply country wide (First Schedule) and those specific to each region (Second Schedule). If you are in any doubt about these regulations please contact a Fish and Game Council office.
Carry your licence with you -
Always carry your licence with you when you’re fishing or hunting. If a Fish and Game ranger with a warrant or a police officer asks to see your licence, it is an offence if you do not have it with you. Some form of positive identification, i.e. a driver’s licence is also recommended to be carried so that you can prove who you are to a ranger or police officer.
Lawful occupier of land -
Any person who is the lawful occupier of any land may fish or hunt within such land without a licence, during the period and upon such terms and conditions specified by the relevant Fish and Game Council. This does not include along legal roads or marginal strips adjacent to the occupier’s property.
Licence is not a right of access -
A licence does not confer any right of entry upon the land of any person without his or her consent.
Licence transfers - from one person to another, is not permitted. Short Term Licences are not transferable from one date to another.
Licence upgrades -
from a lesser fee licence category to a higher fee category requires the agreement of the Fish and Game Council to which that licence relates, within the month of purchase. Once the upgrade has been authorised, the new licence to be first purchased before a refund on the original occurs.
outside of the month of purchase, no refund is possible. There may be "exceptional circumstances" to this refund policy, that are beyond the control of the Licence Buyer including illness or death, but this must be supported by a medical certificate and application for a refund is to be made within the month of purchase to, and is at the discretion of, the Fish & Game Council to which that licence relates.
Refund currency -
will be in New Zealand currency. An exchange rate where applicable, will be that on the day the refund is made.
Return any tags - If any of the fish you catch have tags attached to them, please return the tags together with the details (length, weight, location and method of capture) to the local Fish and Game Council. This information is essential to allow Fish & Game to effectively manage the fishery.
Return any bands –
Similarly, if you have a banded bird in your bag please report it. An easy option is via the fish and game website. Band information provides Fish & Game with important details about the survival and movement of game birds.
Respect the code of conduct –
Maintain a good standard of sportsmanship when fishing or hunting – treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself. Refer to the fishing or hunting ‘Code of Practice’ in the respective regulation guides for details.
Your Fish and Game Council office –
Futher information is available by contacting a Fish and Game Council office. The contact details are in the fishing regulation guides and on the website – click on the interactive map to find out more about a Council or the region.