Report a pest or disease that's new to New Zealand
What to do and what to expect if you think you've found an exotic pest or disease that hasn't been found here before.
Pest and disease hotline – 0800 80 99 66
Photograph it and catch it, if you can
Photos will help the specialist interpret your finding. Photography tips:
- place the finding against a white background
- include a common object for scale (such as a 10 cent piece)
- use the default settings on your phone's camera
- don't zoom in or add filters.
What to expect when you phone the hotline
- Our call centre staff:
- will answer your call
- record your contact details and details of your finding
- pass your details to a specialist
- The specialist will:
- contact you to discuss your finding
- may ask you to send in photos.
Why we need you to report any new pests and diseases
Early detection of harmful new pests and diseases is a vital part of our biosecurity system. Every New Zealander has a responsibility to be vigilant for and report suspected new organisms. We need you to be extra vigilant when coming home from overseas or opening international mail.
New Zealanders are expected to report unusual organisms to MPI. Unusual organisms are those that appear to be something not normally seen in New Zealand.
Notifiable organisms are those that could seriously harm New Zealand's primary production or our trade and market access. If you spot a notifiable organism, you have a legal obligation under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to tell MPI. If you think you've spotted one, call the pests-and-diseases hotline on 0800 80 99 66.
- Refer to section 46 of the Biosecurity Act – NZ Legislation website
- Search the unwanted organisms database for notifiable organisms
Tips for spotting pests
You can use these resources to help confirm a pest sighting but it's not required. An MPI expert can do the identification for you.
Weeds and bugs
These online databases can help identify pests affecting farms and native environments.
- Weeds and pests affecting New Zealand pastures – Agpest website
- Key to the weed species of New Zealand – Landcare Research website
The National Pest Control Agency's (NPCA) websites have guidelines for identifying vertebrate pests and controlling them.
- Identify the presence of pest animals – NPCA's Pest Detective website
- Best practice guides for controlling vertebrate pests – NPCA website
Marine pests and diseases
References to help you identify marine pests and discover where they've been found so far.
- New Zealand's marine pest identification guide [PDF, 1.7 MB]
If in doubt, call our pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.
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