Emerging threats

Pests and diseases pose a major threat to our native species. Find out about emerging threats and how we're dealing with them.

Protecting our unique biodiversity

New Zealand is home to many species found nowhere else on Earth. Introduced pests and diseases pose a serious threat. It's important we build the necessary programmes and partnerships to deal with these threats, before they damage our unique biodiversity.

Biological threats – wasps and wallabies

We're constantly working to assess and control pests and diseases in New Zealand. A large part of this work involves preventing pests in specific regions from becoming national issues.

Two emerging threats we've identified are wasps and wallabies.

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Wasps are more than just a nuisance – they're an environmental risk.

New Zealand is home to a number of wasp species – several native and 4 introduced. While native wasps have never been a problem, the introduced social species are serious pests.

An emerging threat

We have some of the highest densities of German and social wasps in the world. These wasps have no natural predators in New Zealand, and they can often survive our mild winters – meaning they're a pest year-round.

Both species of wasp have social and environmental impacts. They:

  • irritate forestry workers and tourist businesses
  • cause allergic or hypersensitive reactions in some people
  • consume large amounts of honeydew in beech forests (an important food for native species)
  • eat large numbers of native insects
  • destroy bee hives costing the honey industry millions of dollars in control costs and lost revenue
  • kill young birds.

Our partners

MPI is working with several partner agencies to deal with the growing threat of wasps.

Find out more

Find out more

Learn more about emerging threats in New Zealand.

Who to contact

If you'd like to learn more about emerging threats, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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