New Zealand’s pest management system is pretty complex; after all, there are different predators operating in different ways in different parts of the country.

Many groups are involved in managing pests, including central government agencies, regional councils, industry groups, Maori iwi, non-Government organisations, landowners and occupiers, community groups and the general public.


The Government

Let’s start at the top. The NZ Government created a Biosecurity Act in 1993 and part 5 of it relates to the eradication or effective management of pests by:

1.    developing management plans and programmes at both a national and regional level
2.    considering the costs and distributing the funds effectively
3.    allowing for consultation with different groups on how to control the pests that concern them.

A National Policy Direction (NPD) for Pest Management 2015 was also created.

Who’s responsible?

The Minister for Primary Industries.


Regional councils and national agencies (e.g. DOC)

Regional councils and national agencies are responsible for Pest Management Plans and Pathway Management Plans.

A Pest Management Plan is used to eradicate, control and monitor pests in a selected site or area, while a Pathway Management Plan is used to control and monitor the movement of pests through a selected pathway (e.g. rats coming into Tauranga on ships).

Any plans have to be compliant with the Government’s ACT and NPD, as above, and also work in terms of a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) – i.e. the financial benefit has to be proven to be higher than the cost involved, and those receiving the benefit(s) also need to cover the cost.

Plans also have to be approved by the Minister and meet one or more of the following goals:
◦    Exclusion (preventing the establishment of a pest in an area)
◦    Eradication (reducing the infestation level of a pest to zero levels in an area in the short or medium term)
◦    Progressive containment (reducing or containing the distribution of the pest to an area over time)
◦    Sustained control (ongoing control of the pest to reduce its impact and its spread)
◦    Protecting any other values in place (e.g. cultural)

Anyone can submit a plan, but there’s a fair bit of red tape involved. However, regional councils can run small scale, short term (less than three years) programmes on specific sites. These are called site-led programmes.


What are the different councils doing?

Click on the links to view the various pest management strategies. This list is a work in progress and any information is subject to change.

Northland Regional Council

Auckland Council

Environment Waikato

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Taranaki Regional Council

Gisborne Regional Council

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Wellington Regional Council

Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council

Marlborough District Council

Environment Canterbury Regional Council

Otago Regional Council

Environment Southland