Wildlife Act 1953

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Reprint as at 21 December 2018

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Wildlife Act 1953

Public Act
1953 No 31
Date of assent
31 October 1953
see section 1(2)

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Department of Conservation.


1Short Title and commencement
2AMeaning of possession
2BApplication of certain provisions restricted
3Wildlife to be protected
4Certain wildlife declared to be game
5Certain wildlife partially protected
6Certain wildlife may be hunted subject to conditions imposed by the Minister
7Certain wildlife not protected
7AWild animals
7BTerrestrial and freshwater invertebrates
7BAMarine species
7CFarming certain unprotected animals
8Alteration of schedules
9Wildlife sanctuaries
10All wildlife in sanctuaries absolutely protected
11Destruction or seizure of certain animals found in sanctuaries
12Mining privileges, coal mining rights, and public works [Repealed]
13Seizure of wildlife, etc, illegally taken
14Wildlife refuges
14AWildlife management reserves
14AAGranting of concessions in wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, and wildlife management reserves
14BWildlife areas to be managed by Department
14CGeneral policy
14DConservation management strategies
14EConservation management plans
14FPopulation management plans
14GDetermining maximum allowable level of fishing-related mortality
14HDetermining area-based maximum levels of fishing-related mortality
14IProcedure for preparation and approval of population management plans
15Open season for game
16Notification as to conditions on which open season declared
17Hunting or killing in game areas
18Restrictions on the taking of game
19Licence to hunt or kill game
19AGame bird habitat stamp
20Limitation of licence [Repealed]
21Holder of game licence not to enter on land without consent
22Shooting of game not in flight prohibited
23Sale of game and sale of shooting rights prohibited
24Acclimatisation districts [Repealed]
25Acclimatisation societies [Repealed]
26Societies to be bodies corporate [Repealed]
27Appointment to councils of societies of representatives of farming interests, etc [Repealed]
28Disqualification of officers of societies [Repealed]
29Rules of acclimatisation societies [Repealed]
30Functions of societies [Repealed]
31Appointment of officers and servants [Repealed]
32Societies may undertake research [Repealed]
33Expenditure by societies [Repealed]
34Annual reports and balance sheets of societies to be forwarded to Minister [Repealed]
35Failure of society to act [Repealed]
36Dissolution of societies [Repealed]
37Wildlife districts
38AFish and game rangers to be rangers under this Act
39Powers of rangers
39ACertain rangers to have additional powers
39BPower to seize evidential material
39CPowers to require people to stop and to stop things or articles in transit
39DPower to intervene to prevent offending
39ECertain people to have power of arrest
39FPower of arrest
39GApplication of Search and Surveillance Act 2012
40Obstructing persons acting under this Act
41Minister’s general powers
42Fencing of land
44Delegation of Minister’s powers
44ADelegation of powers by Director-General
44BNew Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust Board established
44CBoard to be body corporate
44DFunctions of Board
44EPowers of Board
44FMembership of Board
44GTerm of office of members of Board
44IFunds to be held on trust
44JCrown entity
44KAnnual report
44LMembers not personally liable
45Interpretation [Repealed]
46Local authority may apply or raise funds for destruction of injurious birds [Repealed]
47Local authorities to submit plans for destruction for approval of Director-General [Repealed]
48Appointment of Inspectors, and bylaws [Repealed]
49Provisions to secure concerted action [Repealed]
50Minister may appoint Inspectors to carry out this Part if local authority fails to do so [Repealed]
51Obstructing Inspector [Repealed]
52Expenses of carrying out this Part [Repealed]
53Director-General may authorise taking or killing of wildlife for certain purposes
54Director-General may authorise hunting or killing of wildlife causing damage
55Keeping of specimens in museums
56Restrictions on liberation or export of animals, birds, etc
56AApplication of Customs and Excise Act 2018
57Ownership of animals
58Homing pigeons
59Entry on land for purposes of Act
60Protection of rangers and others
61Person in pursuit of wildlife to comply with demand by authorised officer
62Offences in relation to transport of wildlife
63Taking protected wildlife or game, etc
63ATaking of absolutely or partially protected marine wildlife
63BReporting of accidental or incidental death or injury
64Offences in relation to wildlife sanctuaries
65Other offences
65ALiability of directors and managers
66Continuing offence after being required to desist
66AOffenders to give identifying information
67Penalties for offences in respect of marine wildlife
67APenalties for offences in respect of absolutely protected wildlife
67BPenalty for offence of liberating wildlife
67CPenalties for offences in respect of partially protected wildlife
67DPenalty for offence of obstructing ranger
67EPenalties for offences in respect of game
67FPenalties for other offences
67GSentence of community work
67HOffenders also liable for loss or damage
67IPenalties for offences committed for commercial gain or reward
68Conduct of proceedings and recovery of fines
68AProceedings in respect of offences
68ABMens rea and strict liability offences
68BDefences to offences in respect of marine wildlife
69Evidence of boundaries, etc
70ARelationship between infringement offences and other offences
70BHunting during close season
70CHunting without licence during open season
70DContravening terms of open season notification
70EHunting wildlife in contravention of conditions prescribed by Minister
70FFailure to produce licence on demand
70GTaking protected wildlife or game
70HTaking game in contravention of Act or notification
70IFailure to comply with condition of authority to take or kill wildlife
70JLiberating wildlife or exporting animals or animal products
70KTransporting wildlife without proper information on container
70LFarming or breeding certain unprotected animals
70MFailure to report accidental or incidental death or injury
70NInterfering with items on land under section 59
70PActing without required licence, permit, etc
70QContravening instruments made under this Act
70RInfringement offences relating to wildlife refuges
70SInfringement offences relating to waterfowl
70TInfringement offences relating to homing pigeons
70UProceedings for infringement offences
70VWho may issue infringement notices
70WInfringement notices
70XReminder notices
70YPayment of infringement fees
70ZPenalties for infringement offences
71Saving of other Acts
71AControl of dogs
73Repeals, savings, and consequential amendments
Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the protection and control of wild animals and birds, the regulation of game shooting seasons, and the constitution and powers of acclimatisation societies