Pest and weed management

Pest and weed management

Responsibilities for Managing Pests and Weeds
Biosecurity responsibilities are shared between central government, regional councils, industry and landowners. This page will provide readers with a better understanding of the role of the various parties.

Central Government

In 2005, responsiblities for the development of a national biosecurity system were allocated to Biosecurity NZ, a new department within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. This includes developing improved systems for border controls, surveillance, incursion response, biosecurity science and management of high-risk pests.  The Ministry for Primary Industries has now taken over this responsibility.  See the biosecurity section of the Ministry's website for further information.

The Government has also maintained national legislation designed to protect biodiversity.  The  Biosecurity Act 1993 guides pest management in New Zealand. It has two main purposes:

  1. Border control and surveillance to keep pests out of New Zealand.
  2. Management of pests that have already established.

Regional Councils
Regional councils (and unitary authorities such as Tasman District Council) are responsible for management of pests in their region through the development and implementation of a Regional Pest Management Strategy.

Regional councils are empowered under the Biosecurity Act to take action protect biodiversity in the regions they control.  Most regional councils have a regional pest management strategy to govern the pest management decisions and operations they take.  Some regional councils have regional pest management plans that systematically set out the operations the regional council will take.  Take a look at the regional pest management strategy applicable to your area here.

Some industries, such as the NZ Forest Owners Association, have developed their own biosecurity systems that focus on the early detection of pests.

Landowners are responsible for managing pests that are listed in the Regional Pest Management Strategies, on the land that they own.  To find out what pests are included click here.


For practical advice on hygiene practices for farm equipment and the machinery, see the attached best practice guidelines produced by the National Pest Control Agencies.



Links to regional pest management strategies