How the council controls pest animals

We operate a number of pest control programmes based around specific locations or certain types of animals and plants.  

For more information on all the affected species, see the Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy (PDF 13.5MB).

When placing bait stations or traps in local and regional parks, we will always put up signs to alert park users so they can take necessary precautions.

Animal control in the Hauraki Gulf Islands

The Hauraki Gulf Islands are often the last hope for New Zealand's threatened species.

Birds like kiwi, takahe, pateke (brown teal), tieke (saddleback) and various shorebird and seabird species are flourishing on islands free of animal pests, as well as insects like the giant weta and native lizards like chevron skink, striped skink and tuatara.

Native trees and plants can also thrive in the absence of browsing mammalian pests and weeds. Rangitoto boasts the world's largest pohutukawa forest, and other threatened plants like dactylanthus grow the on islands.

Animal control is an important part of how we protect the Hauraki Gulf Islands. In 1998, the Hauraki Gulf Islands became a 'Controlled Area' under the Biosecurity Act 1993, making it an offence to take animal pests into the Hauraki Gulf.

For a full list of these animal pests, see section 17 of the Auckland Regional Pest Management Strategy (PDF 13.5MB).

To ensure our beautiful gulf islands remain pest-free, we operate a joint conservation campaign with the Department of Conservation called Treasure Islands.

You can find information about the campaign, the islands, and the main threats on the Treasure Islands website.

If you're planning a visit to the Hauraki Gulf Islands, see visiting the Hauraki Gulf Islands.

If you're moving a building into, through or from one island in the Hauraki Gulf to another, you need to have an inspection to ensure that no animal pests are being transported.

To book an inspection, please contact us.

Possum control

A possumThe council undertakes possum control in areas of high conservation value across the Auckland region, including approximately 70,000ha on the Awhitu and South Kaipara peninsulas. These are dedicated possum control areas.

Possums compete with native animals for limited food resources, and directly prey on native birds and invertebrates, including kereru, North Island kokako and kaka.

They also affect our dairy industry as they are the main carrier of bovine tuberculosis.

Sometimes funding for possum control has come from targeted rates for properties in those areas affected most.

We also look at trend monitoring to indicate where future control measures may be needed.

Goat control in the Hunua Ranges

A feral goatThe council controls feral goats in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park and in adjacent buffer areas on private land. 

We are currently extending the buffer zone to the sea on the northern and eastern sides of the Hunua Ranges, with the aim of reducing populations to low densities and preventing reinvasion of the park. 

We have already eradicated feral goats from other regional parks, and Hauraki Gulf Islands.

Goats are opportunistic browsers and destroy native forest by eating the foliage of most trees and plants, including seedlings and saplings.

We need to keep goat numbers under control to allow developing native plants to mature.

For updates on the goat control operation, see Hunua Ranges.

Pig control in the Waitakere Ranges

A feral pigWe have stepped up our ongoing pig control programme in the Waitakere Ranges after pigs were found to be likely carriers of kauri die back disease.

This work is carried out by experienced contractors, who follow strict hygiene procedures to ensure they do not spread the disease themselves.

Feral pigs also carry diseases like bovine tuberculosis and leptospirosis, and destroy native bush areas by:

  • rooting up the ground
  • eating the fruits, seeds, roots, stems or leaf-bases of native plants
  • eating native insects, snails, earthworms, frogs, lizards, and ground nesting birds and their eggs.

Feral pigs can also adversely affect farming, damaging fences, pastures and livestock.

We monitor pig populations in association with Landcare Research.


Regional feral deer control programme

Feral deerAuckland Council works closely with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to manage feral deer in Auckland and protect areas like our regional parks and DOC’s conservation estate.

The council controls feral deer on our own land using professional hunters, and private land when necessary - such as buffer land around regional parks.

All species of feral deer are declared pests under Auckland’s Regional Pest Management Strategy, and the ability to control them via our contractors on private land is provided via the Biosecurity Act 1993, section 109, Power of Inspection.

Report any feral deer to biosecurity at or 09 301 0101.

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