Non-Resident Fishing Licences

Non-Resident Fishing Licences in New Zealand

If you’re an overseas visitor planning to fish in this paradise, it’s essential to understand the Non-Resident Licence (NRL) requirements.

Here are the NRL rules to follow when visiting and fishing in New Zealand…

What is a Non-Resident?

A “non-resident” is defined as an individual who, as of October 1, is NOT ordinarily a resident in New Zealand. A resident is:

  • A New Zealand citizen, even if living overseas but returning for holidays (may not have established New Zealand residence but holds a New Zealand passport).
  • An individual who holds a residence class, student, or work visa.
  • Someone who has lived in New Zealand for at least six of the 12 months immediately prior to their licence purchase.
  • An individual who considers New Zealand as their primary place of established residence.

If you do not meet the ‘ordinary resident’ criteria, you must hold a Non-resident fishing licence or a Non-resident day licence. Fishing with other licence categories is equivalent to fishing without a licence.

Features of the Non-Resident Licence (NRL)

The NRL allows holders to fish for sports fish in all Fish & Game regions, excluding the Taupo Fishing District, which is managed by the Department of Conservation.

The NRL includes a levy that contributes to fisheries management and habitat protection.


  • NRL Whole Season Licence (Adult): $264
  • NRLs for Juniors (12-17) and Children (under 12): $50
  • One Day Non-Resident Licence:
    • Adult: $37
    • Junior or Child: $22

Note: The One Day NRL does not permit fishing in a Designated Waters Fishery. After purchasing a Whole Season NRL, holders can apply for a Designated Waters Licence and Controlled Fishery Licence, with additional costs for the Designated Waters Licence.

Purchasing Your Non-Resident Licence

  • Online: Non-Resident Licences can be acquired online.

  • In-Person: If you’re in New Zealand, you can visit hunting or fishing stores that sell licences. Agents with online purchasing facilities can issue NRLs.

  • International Mailing: Overseas visitors can apply for their licence and have it mailed to an international address before their trip to New Zealand. Ensure you allow at least 15 working days for delivery. Alternatively, you can provide a New Zealand postal address to collect your licence upon arrival.

Important Notes

  • Non-resident anglers are not eligible for other whole-season or part-season licence categories.

  • Fishing with the incorrect licence is a serious offense. Anglers found with the “wrong” licence can face prosecution as if they have no fishing licence, potentially incurring a fine of up to NZD $5,000.00.