Send a sample for laboratory testing

The Plant Health and Environment Laboratory provides laboratory testing for pests and diseases of plants and identification of suspected exotic or invasive weeds. Find out how to send us a sample for testing.

Reporting a biosecurity risk?

If you have found a pest, disease, or weed that you think is a biosecurity risk, call the MPI Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline. Do not submit these samples without calling the hotline first.

  • Phone 0800 80 99 66

Follow the steps to send a sample

Test turnaround times

Completion times for surveillance samples, post-entry quarantine (general diagnostics) and border clearance samples depend on the type of test.

Table showing testing timeframes

Laboratory test

Urgent sample

Routine sample

Bacterial and fungal

Within 7 working days

Within 15 working days

Plant

Within 10 working days

Within 15 working days

Insect and invertebrate

Within 1 working day

Within 10 working days

Nematode

Within 7 working days

Within 15 working days

Viral

Within 7 working days

Within 30 working days

Other testing timeframes

  • Post-entry quarantine testing (mandatory testing based on import health standard requirements) is completed in 15 working days for bacterial, fungal, and viral testing. Testing takes 25 days if herbaceous indexing testing is also required for virus testing.
  • Export certification and high health testing are generally completed within 10 working days for bacterial, fungal, and viral testing.

Note: When an identification cannot be completed within the agreed reporting timeframe, an interim reply will be issued.

How we charge

You will be invoiced when testing is complete.

Accreditation

The Plant Health and Environment Laboratory is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 'General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories'.

Who to contact

If you have questions about sending a sample or tests we offer:

  • phone 0800 00 83 33 – ask for the Plant Health and Environment Laboratory
  • email info@mpi.govt.nz (for general enquiries)

North Island (Auckland)

South Island (Christchurch)

If you want to report a suspected exotic pest or disease:

  • phone 0800 80 99 66.
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