Biosecurity FAQs


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Biosecurity FAQs

  • For a start, check the A-Z of pests on the MDC website. All of these species are known to be invasive in Marlborough.

    Go to the A-Z of pests

    Those that Council oversees through programmes in the Regional Pest Management Plan 2018 are labelled as such. This means Council is actively managing them or ensuring occupiers are managing them. This also means they are officially ‘pests’ under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

    Some others on the list could be unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993 which means they are banned from sale and propagation. You can check the unwanted organism register managed by Biosecurity NZ.

    Check the unwanted organism register

    While the remaining species on the list might not have any legal designation, Council recommends that they are managed accordingly and are also not planted or propagated to avoid helping their further spread around the district.

  • If it is a pest within the Regional Pest Management Plan 2018 (see those labelled in the A-Z of pests), you are required to notify Council.

    Go to A-Z of pests

    You can use the form under the individual species page on the website (e.g Purple loosestrife) or contact the Biosecurity Team at Council. Key information includes a location, and details of what you observed. For pest animals such as wallabies and rooks, the report needs to be as soon as possible given these animals are highly mobile.

    See an example of the form on the Purple loosetrife page

    Email the Council Biosecurity team at

  • It is a specific tool made available under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to manage harmful organisms. Programmes for organisms within a RPMP must be developed demonstrating that the legislative criteria and associated assessments have been met. The most important of these are that the programme is achievable, realistic, the benefits outweigh the costs and the management agency (who administers the RPMP) can transparently demonstrate progress.

    Anybody, including councils, can prepare a proposal for a RPMP. The Council however is responsible for overseeing the process and being satisfied that it meets the requirements under the Act. They also have regional leadership responsibilities under the Act which means Councils tend to be the main bodies that develop and implement a RPMP.

  • Amendments to the Biosecurity Act 1993 in 2012 saw substantial changes to Part 5 of the Act. This meant the ‘tool’ available is now termed a Regional Pest Management Plan. This aligned with the intent behind what these new RPMPs are intended to be used for. That is guiding (with supporting regulation) specific operational programmes to achieve clear objectives that result in good outcomes for the region. In essence, much more of a detailed “plan” than a “strategy”.

  • Given there are a range of biosecurity related services delivered by Council, Marlborough District Council has chosen to develop a Biosecurity Strategy to provide an overarching vision along with goals and decision making principles. Making and implementing a RPMP is a specific goal within that Strategy. The Biosecurity Strategy can be found on here on Council's website:

    See the Biosecurity Strategy

  • This is because the RPMP is about being specific and used for organisms where there are clear achievable objectives and/or serious future impacts if left unmanaged. The nature of entrenched species in Marlborough, and particularly vertebrate pest species, do not often lend them to being managed via an RPMP as species-led management is not feasible.

    An RPMP is not used for listing all harmful organisms or assigning a species a ‘classification’.

    On occasions, Council may choose to directly get involved in an initiative relating to an entrenched species via its Long Term Plan or Annual Plan process. In this instance, the size/shape and nature of the initiative can be customised in conjunction with community. If resources are limited however, the strategic biosecurity investments committed to via the RPMP need to take precedence.

    Council does recognises the immediate impact entrenched species have on biodiversity. This is where Councils biodiversity programme comes into play. This could be protecting areas of significant biodiversity value (such as the Significant Natural Areas programme) or getting in behind the local community improving the biodiversity values within their own patch.

    Where an attempt to manage a harmful organism at site of high value requires regulatory support, there is potential within the RPMP to develop a Site-Led programme.

  • Good Neighbour Rules are all about managing boundary impacts. However, these situations often arise related to entrenched species (see comments above). This firstly makes the justification to develop a specific RPMP programme difficult. Secondly, there are also requirements to meet for making Good Neighbour Rules within clause 8 of the National Policy Direction for Pest Management. This makes for a high bar to reach.

    Nonetheless, if these justifications can be met, the Rule can be applied to all occupiers, including the Crown (who was not previously bound to former RPMS obligations).

    In Marlborough, Council has long standing relationships with Crown agencies such as DOC and LINZ that includes investment by those agencies into meeting programme obligations, irrespective of being bound. DOC also invests into some programmes in recognition of being at threat if those particular species were to become established and widespread.

    If there is an absence of Good Neighbour Rules, Council will strongly advocate for the maintenance of Crown investment into the RPMP programmes as an occupier of land within the community.

  • If obtaining a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) from Marlborough District Council, a query is made against information held by the Biosecurity Section. If a pest managed via the Regional Pest Management Plan 2018 has been found on the property, information will be included within the LIM report.

    Other sources of information include the Biosecurity Pest Plants Smart Map, RPMP 2018 Containment Areas/Zones Smart Map and RPMP 2018 Occupier Obligations Smart Map. All of these display information that underpins the legal obligations that make up the programmes within the Regional Pest Management Plan 2018.

    Go to the Biosecurity Pest Plants Smart Map

    Go to the RPMP 2018 Containment Areas/Zones Smart Map

    Go to the RPMP 2018 Occupier Obligations Smart Map

    You can also contact the Biosecurity Team at Council directly at Council: