Eradicating bovine TB in NZ

As part of our TBfree programme we deliver our pest control operations through a framework of TB management areas (TMAs).

TMAs are areas with known TB infection in livestock and wildlife. Each TMA has a specific TB control plan designed to eradicate TB as effectively as possible.

Area map of Molesworth Clarence reserveThe Molesworth/Clarence Reserve TMA

The Molesworth/Clarence Reserve TMA covers 159,510ha west of the southern end of the Inland Kaikoura Range. It includes:

  • part of Molesworth Station
  • the west side of the Clarence Reserve, and
  • the Upper Awatere area.

The habitat is dry grassland interspersed with patches of scrub and bush. Altitudes range from 500-2200m.

History of TB and pest control in Molesworth/Clarence Reserve

The Molesworth/Clarence Reserve TMA has an extensive history of TB infection in both local wildlife and cattle herds. We found TB infection in possums, ferrets, pigs and deer - most recently in 2018.

Previous possum control and livestock disease management has reduced the number of infected herds in the Canterbury/Marlborough region. However, our monitoring has shown that we need to do further control work in the Molesworth/Clarence Reserve area to reduce the possum population. This will:

  • minimise the risk of the disease spreading through wild animal populations into farmed cattle and deer
  • ensure further good progress towards eradicating TB.

We completed ground based possum control in 2017/2018 in the Upper Awatere Molesworth block, and a ferret survey in the Upper Awatere block in 2015. We also completed aerial possum control in the Upper Awatere block in 2012/2013. 

Our most recent pest control work included:

  • aerial control in Molesworth in 2021
  • ground control in Upper Awatere and Upper Awatere Molesworth in 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

Current state

There is 1 infected herd in this TMA.

If you're moving animals

The Molesworth/Clarence Reserve TMA is in the Marlborough / North Canterbury Movement Control Area (MCA). That means TB testing is required for cattle and deer before they're moved to another herd or farm.

Future pest control operations

We plan our pest control operations up to 3 years in advance. The current year runs from July 2021 to June 2022.

Dates and control methods for pest control operations in Molesworth/Clarence Reserve are provisional and subject to change. If you’re affected by any upcoming operations, our pest control contractors will contact you before work begins. They will:

  • talk you through the specifics of each operation
  • explain what you need to do before the operations start
  • get your consent for the work to be done.
Type of controlWhenCoverageWhere
Aerial control2021/202270000haMolesworth
Ground control2021/20222700haUpper Awatere Molesworth
Ground control2022/202331600haUpper Awatere, Upper Awatere Molesworth


Vector Free Marlborough manages our aerial pest control operations in Molesworth/Clarence Reserve, and Excell Biosecurity manages our ground control. Contact them directly if you have feedback or questions about upcoming operations.

Vector Free Marlborough
Phone: 0508 548 008

Excell Biosecurity
Phone: 0508 392 355

Your nearest local OSPRI office is in Christchurch.

OSPRI Christchurch Office
PO Box 8674
Christchurch 8440
Phone: 03 363 3090