COVID alert levels and hunting

Hunting is allowed with very few restrictions under levels 1 and 2.

Level 4

  1. You can go for a walk, run or bike ride. Exercise is good for people’s mental health.
  2. If you do, it must be solitary, or with those you live with.
  3. Keep a 2 metre distance.
  4. Do not do activities that may require search and rescue services. For example, do not go swimming, surfing, boating, hunting or tramping. 
  5. If you are unwell, do NOT go outside.

Alert Level 4 rules (updated as per 17 August 2021) are available here.

Level 3

  1. You can hunt on both private and public conservation land.
  2. You should stay in areas readily accessible from your home, either on foot or by vehicle, and you must stick to your bubble.
  3. Overnight trips are not allowed.
  4. You may only hunt on foot — using quad bikes, off-road bikes, helicopters and other motorised vehicles is not allowed.
  5. You cannot stay in DOC huts or campgrounds under Alert Level 3 and hunting must also be consistent with the usual local area restrictions.

Please keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 alert level notifications at

All hunters should keep track of where they have been, including where and who they have been hunting with, to assist with rapid contact tracing if that is required. We recommend downloading and using the Ministry of Health’s COVID Tracer App.

Information on permits, ballots and DOC facilities

The Mountain Safety Council has set up a new website with guidance on what you can and can’t do during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information is updated to reflect the current Alert Level status. The complete rules and guidance for all activities are available on the Government’s COVID-19 website.

Be safe

Safety is absolutely paramount . Let people know where you are going and when you should return, prepare appropriately and practice safe firearms practices. More information on hunter safety is available here.

The Mountain Safety Council has a good collection of safety advice available on their website.

COVID-19’s impact on the NZ hunting sector

Former GAC Chair Don Hammond appeared before Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee to discuss the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdowns on the NZ hunting sector.