Other pest management programmes

Managing pests and diseases that are present in New Zealand is a massive undertaking – and that's why we work with a number of other agencies and groups. Find out what our partners are doing to stop the spread of pests and diseases in New Zealand.

Protecting our environment

Our country is home to a diverse array of plants, animals, insects, and ecosystems, many of which support thriving primary industries. By working with regional councils and other agencies, we can manage pests that pose a threat to this biodiversity – like rabbits, Chilean needle grass, American foulbrood, and Canada geese.

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Rabbits are a problem throughout New Zealand.

Rabbits have been a constant source of trouble for New Zealand since they were first introduced in the 1830s. In the most affected areas, rabbits:

  • compete with livestock for grazing
  • cause serious soil damage and erosion, and
  • are a staple diet for carriers of bovine TB (carriers include possums and ferrets). By providing a food source, possums and ferrets can reproduce more easily.

Who's responsible?

New Zealand has a long history of rabbit control. Several agencies are responsible for control work including:

Find out more


Chilean needle grass

This weed can impact farm production and livestock.

Chilean needle grass is an invasive tussock weed that's found throughout Marlborough and Hawke's Bay. It's also been found in some parts of Canterbury. This weed:

  • out-competes pasture grasses
  • takes over large areas
  • impacts animal welfare by injuring livestock, horses and dogs.

Who's responsible?

It's up to councils to manage Chilean needle grass – they're in charge of control, regulations and informing farm owners.

Find out more

American foulbrood
This disease can kill bee colonies.

American foulbrood is a bacterial disease present throughout New Zealand. It's under a national control programme to prevent it from damaging the beekeeping industry. This disease:

  • affects developing bees
  • kills infected bee colonies
  • is spread through the movement of beekeeping equipment and bees moving between colonies.

Who's responsible?

Apiculture New Zealand developed the American foulbrood national pest management plan, and continues to fund the strategy.

Find out more

Canada Goose

This bird damages pastures and crops.

Canada geese were introduced to New Zealand in 1905. The goose is in Schedule 5 of the Wildlife Act, meaning anyone can hunt or kill them throughout the year. These birds:

  • compete with farm animals for food
  • damage crops
  • pose a risk to aircraft (bird strikes).

Who's responsible?

The farming community handles goose control, and the Department of Conservation monitors arrangements the community puts in place. Hunters only require permits to hunt geese if they're on conservation land.

Find out more

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this page, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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