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Plant and animal pests

Invasive plant and animal pests are destroying native vegetation and threatening economic production at an alarming rate. Find out more about the plants and animals declared 'pests' in our region, including where they're found, methods of control and useful contacts.

 Biosecurity Act 1993

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.

The Department of Conservation and regional councils are responsible for managing pests that have already established in New Zealand.  Border control is the responsibility of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

What Waikato Regional Council is doing

Plans and control

Our Regional Pest Management Plan guides our pest control activities.  Waikato Regional Council's biosecurity group manages and controls plant and animal pests.

Controlling plant and animal pests in the Waikato region is a huge job. We need the support of land owners in our region to help with pest control.  Successful pest control starts with awareness, motivation, the correct information being readily available, and the right people to help you. 

Plant and animal pests in our region

Check out our pest plant and pest animal sections and find out:

  • why the plant or animal is a pest
  • how the pest came to New Zealand
  • how to recognise the pest
  • who is responsible for control of the pest
  • methods of pest control
  • useful contacts, including where to obtain materials for pest control
  • how to contact your nearest biosecurity contractor.

Controlling possums

Waikato Regional Council undertakes possum control in order to:

  • protect our native forests from possum browse
  • protect our native wildlife, such as birds, lizards and invertebrates from predation by possums
  • reduce the risk of possums infected with bovine Tb (bovine tuberculosis) spreading the disease to livestock herds. Bovine Tb infected livestock affects our dairy and meat industry.

The Waikato Regional Council manages possums in a number of ways, including setting Priority Possum Control Areas (PPCAs).

Marine pests

Find out more about the unwanted organism Fanworm, and other marine pests.

Aquatic pests

Find out about troublesome fish and problem plants affecting our rivers and lakes. Check out our information about coastal plant and animal pests, and find out about marine hitchhikers.


Waikato Regional Council supports the Weedbusters inter-agency weeds awareness and education programme.

Pest plants in Hamilton

Biosecurity officer Hamish Hodgson talks about pest plants in urban Hamilton, and a scheme to encourage home owners to manage them.


Who can help?

Contact our staff and contractors for pest animals and/or our staff and contractors for pest plants.

More information

Pest factsheets
You can download or order pest plant and animal factsheets from our website.

Don't drift off
You can spray agrichemicals (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) as long as you can comply with the conditions of the appropriate permitted activity rule. The rules are (hand held spot spraying) or (widespread application, such as via aerial spraying).

We have a guideline for spraying contractors that can help you meet some of the rule requirements, such as putting together spray plans.

Keep it clean
The spread of pests and weeds by vehicles, machinery and equipment has significant consequences and is an ongoing pest management problem. Download the Machinery hygiene guide and logbook. This guideline gives the basics on keeping pests and weeds at the boundary.