Pest seaweed - exotic caulerpa
The pest seaweed, exotic caulerpa, has been found off Aotea / Great Barrier Island, Waiheke Island and Kawau Island.
It is important you:
- report sightings
- keep your boat and gear clean
- know the restrictions on anchoring, movement of vessels and fishing in the area.
For more information, see the Ministry for Primary Industries.
You can keep fresh rodent bait or set traps on your vessel.
Place rat guards on mooring ropes or anchor chains to prevent rats from coming on board.
Destroy any rats, mice, ants or skinks found in your gear or on your vessel correctly and humanely. Do not throw rats or mice overboard alive.
If you see any pests on pest-free islands, call 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) or contact us on
09 301 0101.
Do the right thing with pets
Many of our offshore islands are havens for native birds and lizards. Cats, dogs and other pets can easily cause harm to native wildlife in these sanctuaries.
In addition, it is an offence to take turtles and exotic parrots to offshore islands, especially Aotea / Great Barrier – see a list of animal pests on
If you are visiting the Hauraki Gulf, the safest choice is to leave your pet at home.
If you must take your pet cat or dog on holiday with you, obey all signage – many islands are free of cats and dogs and it is an offence to take pets onto or near these islands.
Cats that go on holiday with you around the Hauraki Gulf need to be microchipped so they can be returned to you if lost.
Do the right thing with plants
Pests such as plague skinks, argentine ants and kauri dieback love to hitch a ride on pot plants.
If you are planning to do some planting on an island, ideally find plants that were grown on-island.
If you do have to bring plants from off-island, make sure they’ve been sourced from a supplier who is accredited with the Plant Production Biosecurity Scheme (PPBS) to reduce the risk of hitchhiker pests. Alternatively, you can bare root your plants, dunk them in water thoroughly, and repot them with completely new potting mix 24 hours before you go.
Biosecurity Pest Free Warrant system for commercial operators
The Regional Pest Management Plan requires all commercial vessel and tourism operators to obtain and maintain a Pest Free Warrant (PFW) that assesses:
- how well you apply biosecurity measures
- how you communicate biosecurity best practice to your customers.
Pest Free Warrants are free and we will provide advice and support to businesses to phase-in their warrants between 2021-2024.
To find out more, see
Apply for a Pest Free Warrant.
Using ferries and charter boats
Make sure you travel on a Pest Free Warranted boat and look for the official logo.
These operators know how to keep our islands pest free and havens for our indigenous biodiversity.
For a full list of Pest Free Warrant holders, see
the Department of Conservation.
Transporting items to the islands
Some transported goods such as plants, rubble or rocks have a higher chance of moving pests. If you are moving a building, you will need to have an inspection to ensure that no pests are being transported.
Find out how you can safely
transport items to the Hauraki Gulf islands.