Game estates for recreational hunting and commercial hunters

Find out the legal requirements if you operate a game estate in New Zealand, or if you're a game estate hunter wanting to take meat home from an animal you've killed.

About games estates

A game estate is a place where wild animals are kept so that people can hunt them. As long as you follow the correct processes, you can also:

  • allow client hunters to take away edible parts of animals they kill when they leave
  • cull animals if their numbers are too high, and send the culled animals to processing plants. In this scenario, the cull would have to be carried out by hunters certified by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Find out more about commercial hunters and certified wild or game meat suppliers

What you must do if you operate a game estate

To operate a game estate you must:

  • register with OSPRI, and
  • comply with the requirements of the Animal Products Act 1999.

Register with OSPRI

The TBfree National Operational Plan requires all game estates to be registered with TBfree. OSPRI administers the TBfree programme. Contact them to register your game estate.

Comply with the Animal Products Act

If you operate a game estate, you need to be familiar with all of your legal obligations under Part 5A of the Animal Products Act.

Animal Products Act 1999, Part 5A – NZ Legislation

The Animal Products Act requires you to list your game estate with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) if either or both of the following apply:

  • Client hunters remove from your game estate any edible parts of animals killed by them on the estate. (This doesn't apply if the animal parts are removed for use only as a trophy).
  • You want to supply animal material from your game estate to be processed as regulated product.

List as a game estate operator

To list as a game estate operator, complete the application form AP28.

Application form AP28 – Game estate listing [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Once we've approved your application, your estate's details are added to our public register.

Public register of listed game estates

Renew your listing annually

You're responsible for renewing your game estate listing every year. Use the same game estate listing form (AP28) to do this.

Get verified if you export animal material (deer only)

If animal material from your game estate is processed for export, your estate must be verified by MPI. (This requirement only applies to the processing of game estate deer).

Animal Products Notice 2013: Export Requirements for Game Estate Products [PDF, 90 KB]

To arrange a verification visit, email

You will need to be verified every year to keep your game estate listing.

Who to contact

If you have questions about game estates, email

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