National Pest Plant Accord for preventing the sale of invasive weeds in NZ
The National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA) helps the government and plant producers prevent the sale, distribution, and propagation of highly damaging pest plants (weeds) in New Zealand. Learn more about the NPPA, how species are added or removed, and what this means for you.
Overview of the pest plant accord
The NPPA is designed to prevent the sale, distribution and propagation of a set list of pest plants (the Accord list) within New Zealand. If allowed to spread further, these pest plants could seriously damage the New Zealand economy and environment.
The NPPA is a cooperative agreement between:
- the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
- New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI)
- unitary and regional councils
- Department of Conservation.
All plants on the Accord list are unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993. This means they cannot be distributed or sold in New Zealand. Note, the NPPA is used alongside other pest management strategies.
In the context of the Accord list, a species is considered to include all subspecies, cultivars, varieties, and forms of that species (including genetically modified variants), unless specifically excluded. However, a species is considered to exclude any hybrids of that species with another species, unless otherwise stated.
Amendments to NPPA manual (February 2020 reprint) [PDF, 145 KB]
Sign up to get updates about the NPPA
MPI maintains a consultative list – a group of key stakeholders and parties interested in the NPPA or the Accord list. We update these people when the Accord list changes and send out consultation material. Anyone interested in the NPPA and the Accord list can sign up.
Adding and removing species to the NPPA
Anyone can suggest a change to the Accord list. You'll need to fill out a proposal form, then email it to MPI at email@example.com
Or post it to:
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
How decisions are made
Once MPI has enough proposals to justify a review – or if a proposal needs immediate action – the NPPA Technical Advisory Group carries out a risk assessment and works through the decision process. The advisory group then makes a recommendation to the NPPA Steering Group to work out whether the species should be included on the Accord List. They also work out how a ban would impact New Zealand industry.
The steering group makes the final decision on changing the Accord list, delaying a decision if they need more information.
Any pest plant that's not currently on the Accord list will be taken to an MPI chief technical officer, who will make a decision on whether it should be designated an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993 – and then added to the Accord list.
Identifying and collecting plant samples
In some cases, regional councils or local authorities will need to identify a plant to work out whether it's a plant on the Accord list. Then, they'll log a sample of the plant for reference.
Only authorised individuals are able to identify plants and collect samples – they have to work for or be contracted to a regional council. Financial arrangements for identification remain the responsibility of the organisation to which the 'authorised person' belongs.
Identifying a plant
Authorised individuals need to identify plants before collecting samples.
Once an authorised person has identified a species, they can get further confirmation or decide to take action as an Authorised Person for the purposes of the NPPA under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
If further confirmation is required, a recommended provider will need to carry out a formal identification. Recommended providers include:
- Auckland War Memorial Museum – phone 09 309 0443
- Landcare Research Plant Identification Service – phone 03 321 9999
- National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) – aquatic plants only – phone 07 856 7026
Landcare Research has a tool available online for identifying NPPA and weed species. The Lucid key can help identify over 650 weeds.
Once the identification has been confirmed, the specimen needs to be collected.
Collecting a plant specimen
What authorised individuals should look for when collecting pest plant samples.
Any pest plant listed under the NPPA that has been collected will need to be stored in a registered herbarium.
Try to collect different features of the plant. Stems, leaves, roots, bark, and spines are all useful. We also require notes on where you found it, grid references if available, the name of the collector and the date.
You may also want to send us your own comments – the size and shape of a plant, the colour at the time of collection, and the fragrance (if any).
When sending these specimens, take care to prevent damage and deterioration. To keep specimens intact, try to send them by air. It's also important you label specimens clearly.
Send your specimens to:
Plant Identification Service
Canterbury Agriculture and Science Centre
PO Box 40
If you have any questions about sending your specimens, phone the identification service on 03 321 9999.
Inspections of plant nurseries and outlets
Authorised persons are appointed under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to carry out surveillance and inspections of plant nurseries and other outlets where NPPA species are likely to be found.
Training for NPPA authorised persons
Regional council staff are trained and appointed as authorised persons for the NPPA. The training is an online course made up of 5 modules, followed by an assessment.
Learners who complete the course will be able to:
- explain the NPPA and the role it plays in pest plant management
- explain their role and responsibilities as an NPPA authorised person
- state the sections of the Biosecurity Act that they are applying when inspecting a plant outlet for banned plants.
Plant identification workshops are also run occasionally. These 1-day, face-to-face workshops will give you practise identifying pest plants listed on the NPPA, and learn about identification theory and tools.
To start an online course, or enquire about the plant identification workshops, email NPPA@mpi.govt.nz
The application process
After completing the necessary training you'll need to complete and submit 2 application forms. The information you provide in the forms is assessed by an MPI chief technical officer.
SA2: Statutory Appointment Application Form [DOCX, 189 KB]
Statutory Appointment – Biosecurity Act (Part G) [PDF, 167 KB]