Wellington Deerstalkers Wellington Deerstalkers

About the NZDA

The NZDA was formed in 1937 by Dr. Geoffrey Orbell M.B.E., also known for rediscovering the Takahe on an expedition to the Murchison Mountains in 1948.

Wellington Branch was formed on 17 August 1950 and incorporated on 19 February 1959.

Our purpose is the encouragement and advancement of the sport of hunting, deerstalking, bush craft, shooting and the like, providing facilities for that purpose, and the fostering of the ideals of fair chase and conservation leading to the preservation and protection of native flora and fauna.

The NZDA as an organisation has the following Purpose and Objects:
The fundamental purpose of the NZDA is to (a) ensure the traditions of recreational hunting and the rights of recreational hunters in New Zealand are protected, advanced and advocated for in the best interests of sportsmen and sportswomen; and (b) be the national body in New Zealand representing and advocating on behalf of recreational hunters.

The objects of the NZDA are:

  1. the preservation, encouragement and advancement of the sport of recreational hunting, bushcraft, shooting and the like (together, the “sport”) and to provide facilities for same;
  2. the formation, preservation, support, encouragement and advancement of incorporated Branches of the Association;
  3. the facilitation of consultation between recreational hunters, for arbitration between individuals and/or Branches on matters under dispute, and the settlement of all questions referred to the Association;
  4. the protection of the rights and interests of recreational hunters and their sport, and the repression of any abuses in connection with recreational hunters or their sport;
  5. to make rules, policy, regulations and codes of ethics necessary or desirable in the best interests of the sport or the Association, and publish and enforce the same;
  6. to gain representation, where desirable, on public bodies or organisations whose functions or objects are deemed of importance to, or affecting the Association or recreational hunters’ interests;
  7. to encourage and assist with the formation of other organisations deemed necessary or desirable in the interests of the sport and outdoors recreation generally;
  8. the fostering of interest in native flora and fauna and their conservation;
  9. to strenuously oppose commercial exploitation of New Zealand’s wildlife, public lands, and natural resources wherever and whenever such activity is deemed to jeopardise, exclude, restrict, or conflict with public usage of, or access to New Zealand’s wildlife, public lands or natural resources, or where commercial exploitation is contrary to sound conservation practise or the interests of the sport or recreational hunters’ interests; and
  10. to do all such other things as may be necessary, incidental or conducive to the attainment of the Association’s fundamental aims, purpose and objects, Policy, Code of Ethics, and Field Guidelines.

You can read the Wellington Branch Constitution here:


We run 'Club Hunts' to public land around the Wellington region as well as to other hunting areas in the North Island, South Island and Stewart Island. These hunts cater to various levels of interest and fitness, with access by foot, vehicle, aircraft or boat, dependent on location.

A subsidy of participating members' transport costs is sometimes available.

To join or propose a club hunt, contact the Committee as early as possible.


Branch and National Competitions are organised for game trophies, photographs, videos, literature and target shooting (including postal shoots). Target shooters may also compete in regional events and aspire to New Zealand representative teams. See the Competitions page for full details.

Club Maintained Backcountry Hut and Lodge

Roaring Stag Lodge, Ruamahanga Valley, Tararuas - site cleared in 1960, materials bought and carried in, and construction completed during 1961 and 1962 by the Branch.

Cattle Ridge Hut - adopted at request of Wellington Conservancy. We fully rebuilt the hut in 2018 using Branch funding and volunteers.

We carry out annual or bi-annual maintenance trips to each hut. Keep an eye out for notification by the Committee when these trips are planned.

We are represented on the 'Tararua, Ruahine and Aorangi Huts Committee' (TRAHC'). Committee Members Ed and Gwyn are our current representatives.

Periodicals: NZDA Magazine and Branch Newsletter

  • New Zealand Hunting & Wildlife (National Magazine) - email quarterly to Senior, Life, Student, Superannuate and Junior members.
  • Branch Newsletter - emailed to all financial members every month except January and April. John Wilson is our current newsletter editor.

Club Night - Non-members are very welcome

Club Nights

Held every second Tuesday of the month, except January and April.

Doors are open from 6.30pm. From 7:00pm onward BBQ, Drinks, Tea and Coffee provided.

Formal proceedings and presentations commence 8:00pm sharp.