How you can help
We rely heavily on members of the public who are out and about enjoying public conservation lands to help protect our precious resource.
If you see any illegal activity, contact the 24-hour DOC emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) immediately and report it.
You can help us by providing:
- the location
- vehicle/trailer registration number
- boat name
- description of the person
- photographs if possible.
When reporting any suspected illegal activity put your personal safety first. All calls and personal details are treated as confidential.
DOC has trained warranted officers located in most of our district offices throughout New Zealand who are available to investigate conservation law offences.
For non-urgent matters contact your nearest district office.
Examples of illegal activity
- illegal whitebaiting
- vandalism of huts and tracks
- removal of vegetation from conservation land or reserves
- killing or catching of native wildlife
- fishing in marine reserves
- disturbing marine mammals
- unlawful taking of fully protected species
- theft of native trees
- harvesting of protected flora.
Our role in enforcing laws
DOC is responsible for protecting and nurturing more than a third of New Zealand’s landscape, marine protected areas and thousands of precious and endangered species.
We also enforce conservation laws protecting these special places and species. A few examples of these laws are:
- in marine reserves all marine life is protected, and it is an offence to take any marine life, or to disturb marine life on the seabed
- most of our native bird species, geckos, lizards, some frogs and invertebrates are absolutely protected
- marine mammals, such as seals, dolphins and whales, are protected and commercial interaction is strictly regulated
- modifying, taking or damaging trees, plants and landscapes, and damaging historic and natural features is unlawful unless specifically authorised.
Significant penalties can be imposed by the courts on anybody found flouting these laws. Prison sentences have been given to people who have taken absolutely protected wildlife and attempted to smuggle native geckos out of New Zealand.