Red billed gull Aramoana Mole
Photo by Bruce McKinlay

Landholders can refuse the right to walk over land

Landholders may refuse access to their land, even if such access may have been traditional and the request seems reasonable. This does not apply to emergency services or other agencies with statutory powers of entry.


Landholders may charge for any facilities or services they provide on their property when providing access. They also have the right to recover any costs incurred in providing access.

Trespass notices

If somebody is interfering with the rights of a landholder by entering their property without permission, there are remedies under the Trespass Act 1980. Disturbing domestic animals, setting traps, shutting an open gate and opening a closed gate on private land are all offences.

Crossing private land to access public land

You may not cross private land to access public land unless you have permission from the landholder. There is no general right of public access across private land. Legal public access to and along lakes, rivers and the coast can be fragmented, and permission needs to be obtained to cross private land. Many land managers readily allow access when asked for permission.