About Fish & Game NZ

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Fish & Game New Zealand is the organisation with the statutory responsibility for the sports of freshwater sport fishing and gamebird hunting.

What is freshwater sport fishing?

It is the sport of fishing for trout and salmon. We also look after the sport of coarse fishing, which means catching fish like tench, perch and rudd. Sports fish were introduced to New Zealand by anglers, and are defined in the Freshwater Fishing Regulations 1983.

Fish & Game NZ does not look after the trout fishery in the Taupo region. The Government runs this through the Department of Conservation. Fish & Game NZ is not responsible for whitebait (Department of Conservation), for salmon farming (Ministry of Fisheries) or for the eel fishery (Ministry of Fisheries). We are not responsible for any sea fishing.

What is gamebird hunting?

It is the sport of hunting ducks, geese, swans, pheasants, partridges and quail. The species available to gamebird hunters are defined in the Wildlife Act 1953. Some of these gamebirds are native to New Zealand (such as the paradise shelduck and the grey duck), while others were brought to New Zealand for hunting.

Fish & Game NZ is not responsible for any other kinds of hunting. We do not cover deer hunting (try the Deerstalkers Association).

Is Fish & Game NZ a Government Department?

No. Fish & Game NZ is a Crown Entity, established under the Conservation Act 1987. Although we report to the Minister of Conservation, we are not funded by taxpayers. Almost all Fish & Game money comes from the sale of fishing and hunting licences.

Fish & Game NZ is covered by the Official Information Act and must produce management plans.

What is the Fish & Game NZ System?

Fish & Game NZ is a user pays/user says system. Everyone wanting to go sport fishing or gamebird hunting must buy a licence first. Licence holders can stand for their local Fish & Game Council and vote for the Council’s members.

What is a Fish & Game Council?

We have 12 regional Fish & Game Councils with regional offices. The national council, with an office in Wellington, coordinates regional activities and speaks for anglers and hunters on issues of national importance.

Each council has 12 members, elected from the licence holders of the region. An election is held every three years, and the most recent election was held in March 1997. Every regional Fish & Game Council selects one member to sit on the New Zealand Council.

Councils employ professional staff to carry out their work. The total number of people employed by Fish & Game Councils around the country is about 70. We also have about 500 volunteer rangers who give up their time to ensure that fellow anglers and hunters have licences and follow fishing and hunting regulations.

For more information contact your local Fish & Game office or the New Zealand Council on (04) 499 4767 or fax (04) 499 4768

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