Are Hedgehogs Legal in New Zealand?

Many people are sceptical about keeping hedgehogs as pets because of their intimidating appearance and because they are often illegal. There are some countries and states which do not allow people to house hedgehogs. But what about New Zealand? Are hedgehogs legal in New Zealand or not?

Hedgehogs are completely legal in New Zealand, and you can keep them as pets.

Hedgehogs are native to New Zealand, and you do not need a permit or license to keep them as your pet. Hence, hedgehogs are easily available in pet shops. In New Zealand, you only need a permit if you want to keep game animals or pests.

You can also bring your hedgehog to New Zealand or any pet which is native.

Apart from hedgehogs, there are other pets that are legal in New Zealand. This country is diverse and includes a lot of animals that can be kept as pets.

Animals that make legal pets in New Zealand include chinchillas, guinea pigs, mice, rats, cats, and rabbits. If you plan on keeping farmstock as pets, there are a few city laws that you must comply with. Some farm stock animals you can keep as pets include pigs, goats, and llamas.

On the other hand, keeping a dog in New Zealand requires you to have the appropriate license. However, there are some species of dogs that you cannot keep as pets in New Zealand, which include pit bulls.

If you wish to keep pets that are considered to be pests in New Zealand, then you need to acquire a license for them too. Some of the examples of pests are possums and wallabies.

Which Animals are Exotic in New Zealand?

Exotic animals are those which are not native to New Zealand and do not naturally occur there. New Zealand promotes its local animals. It is essential that you do not release exotic animals in the wild as they are a threat and can harm other species.

Here are some exotic animals common in New Zealand:


Turtles make common pets in New Zealand. There are different kinds of turtles that people keep as pets in the country. Some of the species of turtles include snack neck turtle, box turtle, and reeves turtle. Many people want turtles to be banned in the country so they are not released in the wild and harm the ecosystem.


Many people in New Zealand like to keep dragons as pets. Dragons have become widely popular, like the bearded dragon and the Australian dragon.

As the dragons mature, they require more and more space to live. It is not an easy task to train the dragons, and often people end up getting bitten by them. Therefore, it is important to handle the dragons with care.


Tortoises also make pets in New Zealand. People keep tortoises like Hermann’s tortoise as pets. However, this tortoise is one of the endangered species.

These sea creatures are not as common in New Zealand, and the ones which are available are sold at high prices. Unfortunately, young tortoises have passed away because caretakers did not look after them well enough.

Which Pets Can You Bring to New Zealand?

When you are relocating to a new country, you cannot leave behind your pets. However, every country follows certain regulations when it comes to relocating pets. Therefore, it is important to know beforehand which pets you can bring with you as you move to a newer place.

You can only bring approved cats and dogs from the approved countries. In addition to these animals, you can bring Chinchillas from Great Britain, Guinea pigs and rabbits from Australia, horses, and certain species of fish.

New Zealand has strict policies that you cannot get around when it comes to bringing the pets to the country. The country maintains its biodiversity and will not allow anything that harms its ecosystem. Hence, by allowing animals in the country, New Zealand will be putting its rich and diverse ecosystem at risk.

Animals that you cannot bring with you to New Zealand include birds, mice, rats, ferrets, reptiles, and snakes.

In addition to all the above conditions, you also have to fulfill more. You cannot bring your pet to New Zealand if it does not belong to the approved countries. New Zealand will only take pets that have been born and raised in countries which it considers to be rabies-free.

The countries which are approved by New Zealand include:

  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Mauritius
  • New Caledonia
  • Singapore
  • Vanuatu
  • Pacific Islands.

Moreover, you also need to fulfill the vaccination criteria before bringing your pet to New Zealand. In other words, you will have to ensure that your pet is in good health. It is important to schedule an appointment with your vet once before you leave for New Zealand.

Also, you must ensure that all your pet vaccinations are up to date. If you are taking your cat or dog to New Zealand, you need to get them microchipped.

If your pet has a condition and takes some medication, then you need to carry it with you. To carry the medication, you will also need a declaration form.


Hedgehogs are exotic animals in many places, which makes people wonder where they are allowed. In New Zealand, you can keep hedgehogs as pets. Hedgehogs are native to New Zealand, and that is why you can keep them as pets.

New Zealand prides itself on its rich biodiversity. Therefore, it is strict about the pets you can bring to the country. If you are relocating to the country, you can only bring pets that New Zealand has approved to be free from rabies. In addition, you can bring approved cats and dogs, although some dog breeds are not allowed in New Zealand.

profile photo

Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here

[the_ad id="1296"]