New Zealand has a unique ecosystem. Our native species once thrived without any native predators. However many introduced predators and pests arrived with humans, and threaten the survival of our native species.
Biosecurity helps to prevent or reduce any damage caused by unwanted organisms.
What is biosecurity?
Biosecurity is about keeping New Zealand free of unwanted organisms and for controlling, managing or eradicating them should they arrive in the country.
Who is involved?
DOC manages 8 million hectares of land, about 30% of New Zealand's land area. We are responsible for preserving and protecting these areas, including managing threats from invasive pests and diseases.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) leads New Zealand's biosecurity system. It is tasked with a "whole of system" leadership role, encompassing economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes.
DOC and MPI, along with others, are also involved in the National Pest Plant Accord 2003.
You can help
Keep a watch for anything that is potentially an unwanted pest or disease.
Report any sightings to the MPI free 24 hour emergency hotline 0800 80 99 66.
Freshwater pests and didymo
Freshwater pests include aquatic plants, pest fish, the eggs and fry of pest fish, and the invasive algae didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) and lake snow (Lindavia intermedia).
They can 'hitch a lift' on boating and recreational equipment and start a new population if effective measures are not taken. This can have ecological, cultural, recreational, and even economic risks..
To prevent the spread of freshwater pests always Check, Clean, Dry all boats and recreational equipment between waterways.
Report any sightings to the MPI hotline 0800 80 99 66.
How to Check, Clean, Dry – includes guidelines for whitebaiting, tramping and other activities
Kauri dieback disease
Kauri dieback is a serious threat to kauri in the upper North Island. Keep on the tracks and clean your gear when visiting kauri forests.
Report any sightings to 0800 NZ KAURI (0800 695 2874).
DOC is responsible for protecting kauri on public conservation land and other land it manages, including many of New Zealand’s most significant kauri forests. This work is part of a wider, joint agency response, led by the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Great white butterfly
The great white butterfly poses a major economic and environmental threat. This introduced pest is a threat to commercial and home brassica crops, and to native cresses.
Repot any sightings to the MPI hotline 0800 80 99 66.
Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterium that causes untreatable mastitis, abortions, pneumonia and arthritis in cattle. It impacts on beef and dairy productivity and animal welfare. It's widespread internationally and was identified in New Zealand in July 2017.
You can help the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) eradicate Mycoplasma bovis. When you cross farmland:
- comply with any notices in place
- follow recommended biosecurity measures (clean and disinfect footwear and vechicles when required)
- do not approach or touch any cattle
- keep closed gates shut properly and leave them as you found them.
Myrtle rust is a fungal plant disease found in New Zealand. It could have devastating impacts on some special New Zealand species. DOC is working closely with MPI to manage it.
Report symptoms to the iNaturalist website or via the iNaturalist app available in your devices app store.
If you are visiting pest-free islands, make sure you complete any biosecurity requirements to prevent unwanted pests coming with you.
Report any sighting of pests on pest-free islands to the DOC conservation emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).