Pest Information Brochures

Learn about the many plant and animal pests that threaten our land and marine environments.

Information is available for identifying species, the best methods of control and management of these pests, and how the responsibilities for managing these pests are shared.

Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan

The Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan provides a framework for efficient and effective pest management in the Tasman-Nelson region by:

  • minimising actual and potential unintended effects associated with the organisms identified as pests;
  • maximising the effectiveness of individual pest management action by way of a regionally coordinated response

Learn more about the plan: Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan

Pests Summary Brochure

There is also a summary booklet that highlights your responsibilities for dealing with pests at your place. Use the link below to check it out. Pests Information Brochure (pdf, 3 MB)

Identifying and controlling pests and weeds

Find out more about the pests and weeds that affect the Nelson region:


Weeds are pest plants (usually introduced) that compete with productive plants (eg clover, grass, horticultural crops) or with indigenous plants. They compete by slowing their growth, shading them out or preventing regeneration of seedlings. Weeds can be controlled by physical removal (grubbing or cutting) or by herbicides (applied internally or externally).

In Nelson, gorse and broom are widespread, having been introduced and spread by early landowners and by animals and birds. The widespread use of fire to control pasture that was reverting to bracken and woody vegetation eliminated much of the competition for these weeds. The long-term viability of gorse and broom seed (more than 20 years in the ground) make it an extremely difficult plant to eradicate.

Controlling Weeds
Some weeds pose a much greater threat than others. Responsibility for controlling weeds that pose the greatest threat lies with Biosecurity NZ, a department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Weeds that post a significant threat to economic or ecological values are usually included in regional pest management plans.

The Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan lists 37 species of weeds under four different categories. These are weeds where the Council is satisfied that the costs of controlling them is justified by the benefits that this will bring. High-risk weeds with a very limited distribution are usually targeted for eradication. Weeds with a wider distribution may be progressively controlled to reduce their density and/or distribution. Widely-distributed weeds may be subject to boundary control to protect landowners with clean properties from being re-invaded from neighbouring properties. 

Controlling pest tree invaders
Identify pest tree invaders, some of which are included in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan.
Learn more: Controlling Pest Tree Invaders Booklet (1.9MB PDF)

Controlling shrub invaders
Identify pest shrub invaders, some of which are included in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan.

The brochure containing this information is available below: Controlling Shrub Invaders Booklet (PDF 1.1 MB)

Controlling vine invaders
Identify pest vine invaders, some of which are included in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan.

The brochure containing this information is available here: Controlling Pest Vine Invaders Booklet

Controlling ground cover and grass invaders
Identify pest ground covers and grass invaders which are included in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan.

The brochure containing this information is available here: Controlling Ground Cover and Grass Invaders Booklet

Wetland pests and weeds identification
Introduced fish such as trout and salmon provide recreational benefits to many anglers and are the basis of many a fine meal. There are other introduced freshwater fish such as koi carp, perch, rudd, and tench that could provide some sporting benefit to fisherman, but this would be outweighed by their impact on waterbodies.

Within Nelson, the Department of Conservation have undertaken an active campaign against them and other fish such as Gambusia. For this reason, they have been included in the Regional Pest Management Plan. Further information on pest fish is contained in the Regional Pest Management Plan.

This section describes aquatic and wetland invaders as identified in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan.

Please note that most aquatic and wetland plants are dispersed by stem or root fragments, so care should be taken when removing such plants to remove all material. Consider carefully what plants you buy for ponds and aquariums. If unsure, check with a Biosecurity Officer. Never dump aquarium contents or water into stormwater drains or waterways.

For more information see the Controlling Aquatic and Wetland Invaders Booklet. (1.1MB PDF)

Controlling Animal Pests

Most introduced birds are widespread and have become well established. However, there is concern about the impact on horticultural crops posed by birds such as rooks that have not yet become established. For this reason, they have been included in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan and rural landowners undertake an active surveillance campaign to spot any rooks.

At this stage, there are no known rookeries in the region. Further information on rooks and magpies can be found in the Regional Pest Management Plan.

Animals that are considered a pest to many rural landowners (e.g. pigs, deer) because of the damage they do to native vegetation may be a valuable resource to hunters. Others that may pose a risk to cattle by transmitting Bovine Tb (e.g. possums) can also provide some economic benefits to trappers in accessible areas. Most rural landowners consider animals such as goats, ferrets, stoats and weasels as pests and may trap them to protect native vegetation and native birds.

In the Nelson region, possums, feral cats, feral rabbits, hares, ferrets, stoats and weasels have not been included in the Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP). See our Controlling Pest Animal Invaders Booklet (1.4MB PDF).

Controlling insects
Identify pest insect invaders, some of which are included in the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan.

More information is available in our Controlling Pest Insect Invaders Booklet (1.3MB PDF).

Identifying and Controlling Wasps
German wasps arrived in NZ about 60 years ago and common wasps arrived about 20 years ago. They have had a dramatic effect on a range of native birds and insects, competing for nectar with birds such as tuis and bellbirds, and killing large numbers of native insects.

Some people react strongly to wasp stings and multiple stings can lead to serious harm or death.

If you have any concerns about wasp nests, please Contact the Biosecurity Team.

A Guide to Wasp Identification and Control (pdf, 371 KB) (pdf, 604 KB)

Avoiding Wasp Stings
Here are some useful guidelines available for helping to avoid wasp stings. Tips for Avoiding Wasp Stings (pdf, 131 KB)

Learn more about Vespula Wasps in New Zealand

Useful Websites

The following website pages have more information that you may find useful:

  • AgPest - a free online tool to assist farmers and agricultural professionals with pest and weed management decision making
  • Auckland Council - a great search engine for many common pest plants and their control
  • Department of Conservation - DOC's weed management procedures
  • Landcare Research - All you need to know about the biological control of weeds and future developments
  • Niwa - aquatic weed information
  • Northland Regional Council - General weed control information and identification
  • Weedbusters - national weed awareness programme