Forestry pest and disease management

Managing potential pests and diseases is an important part of caring for a forest. Find out what sorts of pests and diseases could affect your forest and what to do if you find any.


There are many pests in New Zealand that can affect our forests – from plants and flowers to insects and animals.

The New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA) has a database of forest-specific pests known to be in New Zealand.

Canopy has information on the common pests found in New Zealand’s forests.

Pest control in forestry – Canopy


All trees are prone to some level of disease threat. Some diseases only affect certain species of tree or certain regions of forestry.

Canopy has information on the common diseases found in New Zealand’s forests.

Disease control in forestry – Canopy

Regional pest management plans

Many regional and district councils require landowners to manage and control certain pests and diseases – as per the National policy direction for pest management. Check with your council to find out what responsibilities you may have.

National policy direction for pest management

Beneficial organisms

Just as some organisms can be bad for your forest, others can be good. Beneficial organisms are creatures and plants that help control pests and diseases in your forest and boost the forest's overall health.

Insects can be used to control weeds

Some insects can be used to control invasive weeds. Landcare Research has a good guide to collecting and distributing insects as control agents for a range of weeds, including:

  • broom
  • gorse
  • hawkweeds
  • Japanese honeysuckle
  • lantana
  • mist flower
  • old man's beard
  • Tradescantia

View the guide on Landcare's website

MPI is also working with Scion to investigate the use of insects to control other insects. Import of a Tasmanian parasitic wasp, Eadya paropsidis, has been approved so Scion can research how effective it would be in controlling Eucalyptus tortoise beetles.

A list of Scion's current biocontrol projects can be found on its website.

Biocontrol programmes – Scion

Monitoring pests and diseases

MPI keeps a register of pests and diseases known to affect primary industries.

View our pests and diseases database

Tell us if you see anything unusual

New Zealanders are expected to report unusual organisms to MPI. An unusual organism may be:

  • an animal pest
  • a plant pest
  • signs of plant or animal disease.

If you spot anything out of the ordinary in your forest, call 0800 80 99 66 and let us know.

Find out more about reporting pests and diseases to us

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this page, email

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