Environmental Services

The Council works to ensure the economic and ecological sustainability of the islands, under the Biosecurity Act 1993. The Council also carries out pest management in accordance with national and regional Pest Management Strategies.

Chatham Islands Regional Pest Management Strategy »

The Chatham Islands are a beautiful part of the world and it is important that pests do not endanger the islands’ unique flora and fauna. A variety of pests has already arrived on the Chatham Islands and cause significant damage, both to the islands’ ecology and economy.

No Pests Please!

The Chatham Islands are a beautiful part of the world and it is important that pests do not endanger the islands’ unique flora and fauna.

A variety of pests have already arrived on the Chatham Islands and cause significant damage, both to the islands’ ecology and economy.

It is also essential that pests currently on the Chatham Islands (possums, rats, hedgehog) don’t spread to the Pitt Island and other outer islands. The impact on agriculture, the marine industry and the Chatham Islands environment would be disastrous.

If you have seen a pest or are unsure about what to do, please contact us.

Biosecurity factsheets

Pests of Land and Waterways

Freshwater and land pests are most likely to arrive in vehicles, small boats, timber and machinery (especially agricultural and construction equipment), and with imported livestock, plants and general freight. Even commercial foods, fertilisers, grains and potting mix could contain pests.

The list of undesirable land and freshwater pests includes:

  • broom
  • Chilean rhubarb
  • banana passionfruit
  • sycamore
  • cotoneaster
  • ginger
  • montbretia
  • potato vine
  • rhododendron
  • phoenix palm
  • agapanthus
  • waterlily
  • green frog
  • freshwater fish.

What you can do?

Everyone who travels to or from the islands is responsible for ensuring that they do not bring pests with them.

You must:

  • Thoroughly clean vehicles, camping gear, freight containers and machinery before arriving in the Chathams
  • Make sure luggage, camping gear etc is free of stowaway pests
  • Do not bring plants onto the island without checking the Chatham Islands Council whether they are pests
  • Check supplies and equipment for signs of pests before travelling to the Chatham Islands
  • If you suspect that pests are being moved about or have established themselves, contact the Chatham Islands Council
  • If possible, destroy or contain the pests immediately and then contact the Chatham Islands Council
  • If you are moving within the Chatham Islands or travelling out of an area with a known pest problem, make sure vehicles, equipment and other material are clean.

Even boots, socks and clothing can carry unwanted seed!

Marine Pests

Marine pests are most likely to arrive on boat hulls, in ballast water or water intake systems (eg sea chests). They can also arrive as a result of fishing and harvesting activities or with marine equipment.

Marine pests include:

  • Asian clam and Asian date mussel
  • Chinese mitten and European shore crabs
  • Mediterranean fan worm
  • North Pacific sea star
  • Caulerpa (a green seaweed)
  • Undaria/Wakame (a Japanese seaweed).

What you can do?

Boat owners and commercial or recreational fishermen must:

  • Clean vessel hulls regularly to prevent the introduction of marine pests
  • Collect and dispose of, on land, any material removed from vessel hulls
  • Use and effective antifoulant to keep vessels free from fouling organisms
  • Make sure fishing gear or marine equipment is clean before transporting it to the Chatham Islands
  • Make sure that if a vessel moves its operational base to the Chatham Islands that it is slipped, cleaned and re-antifouled before relocating
  • Make sure that if you regularly visit the Chatham Islands that your hull is free of fouling before leaving mainland New Zealand
  • Avoid, where possible, discharging ballast water in the Chatham Islands that has been loaded in the coastal waters of mainland New Zealand (as long as this is consistent with the safety of the crew and the vessel).
  • Exchange all ballast water loaded within the territorial waters of a country other than New Zealand in accordance with the Import Health Standard under the Biosecurity Act 1993
  • Collect a sample of any marine pests mentioned above, place them in a plastic bag and freeze. Contact the Ministry of Primary Industries on 0800 008 333.

If you have seen a pest or are unsure about what to do, please contact us.

The environmental functions of the Chatham Islands Council are carried out through the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act requires the Council to monitor and report on the state of the Chatham Islands’ environment – its land, air, water and coastal resources.

Protection of historic places

The Chatham Islands Council protects historic areas and wahi tapu on the islands by ensuring compliances with the Historic Places Act 1993. The Chatham Islands has 11 registered historic places.