The forest includes the following areas:
Owned and managed by Whangarei District Council (WDC), this area is classified as a Scenic Reserve under the Reserves Act 1977, which requires it to be managed for the protection and preservation of its natural and scenic value for the benefit, enjoyment and use of the public.
Also owned and managed by WDC, this area supplies most of the water for the city of Whangarei.
The Pukenui Forest is administered by DOC and classified as a Conservation Park under the Conservation Act 1987. Areas designated as such are managed to protect their natural and historic resources and to facilitate public enjoyment.
Owned by WDC and leased to the Whangarei Agricultural and Pastoral Society for 21 years, the lease commenced on 1 July 2002.