Is gamebird hunting permitted at Te Waihora?

 Te Waihora supports up to 166 different species of bird, including a large population of the grey teal (tete).

Hunting game birds is permitted on the lake. It is a very popular mallard duck-shooting area and other species available for hunting include: black swan, Canada geese and feral geese.

To hunt game birds, you must register on the DOC Canterbury database and you’ll need a current Fish and Game game bird permit plus a firearms licence. You must make sure you identify your target correctly; and you can only use steel shot in the lake area. You can apply for the appropriate licenses at any Canterbury office of the Department of Conservation.

Hunters of all species must keep to vehicle tracks when accessing the lake, to avoid adverse effects on mahinga kai and conservation values. Speed must not exceed walking pace (10km/h) and no chains, or other means of enhancing traction may be used.

Key access sites:
• Johnstons Road, Lakeside Wildlife Management Reserve
• Lake Road South and Dickies Road, ‘Williams’ Wildlife Management Reserve
• Lakeland Road, ‘Wards’ Wildlife Management Reserve
• Selwyn Lake Road, Selwyn Wildlife Management Reserve
• Wolfes, Embankment, and Clarks Roads, Yarrs Flat Wildlife Management Reserve
• Jarvis and Hudson Roads, Greenpark Sands
• Seabridge Road, ‘Lakelands’ Conservation Area
• Sunset Point (pedestrian access across rail trail – beware of rail trail users)
• Kaituna Quarry (pedestrian access across rail trail – beware of rail trail users)
• Bayleys Road, Timber landing area, Kaitorete Spit.

What is the Canada goose cull and what does it involve?
A moult cull of Canada geese was carried out at Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere in January 2014. The cull was managed by Christchurch International Airport Limited and Federated Farmers, under conditions established in discussion with Te Waihora Management Board and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. The cull targeted non-breeding birds with the purpose of reducing the number of Canada geese in Canterbury.
Canada geese have negative impacts on primary production, amenity, urban water quality and air safety.

Canada Goose was moved from Schedule 1 (Game bird) to Schedule 5 of Wildlife Act in 2011. So Fish and Game no longer has legislative responsibility for Canada geese. Therefore no licence is required to shoot Canada geese but hunters must have a licence if they are also other birds which are game.

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