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.

The Urewera TMA

The Urewera TMA is in the northern Hawke’s Bay and Eastern Bay of Plenty regions. It is to the west of Lake Waikaremoana, and includes the headwaters of the Waiau River.

The northern section of the TMA includes part of the iwi-managed Te Urewera protected area. There is pine forest in the Mohaka Forest, Maungataniwha and Willowflat areas. Some scattered areas are used for agriculture.

The herds within the TMA are predominately beef breeding and meat production.

History of TB and pest control in Urewera

We've seen low numbers of infected herds and TB-infected deer and pigs in this TMA. The most recent case of wildlife TB was an infected pig caught in the Mohaka Forest area in November 2009. However, several TB-infected pigs were caught in the adjacent Waipunga area in 2018. 

Previous possum control and livestock disease management has reduced the number of infected herds in the Bay of Plenty region. However, our monitoring has shown that we need to do further control work in the Whirinaki 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. 

Our control work to date has involved trapping accompanied with toxins. We've done regular aerial control in places where extensive bush and difficult terrain has made ground control impractical.

Aerial control was completed in 2018 in the Mangataniwha area of the TMA. We've also completed pig surveys in this TMA in recent years. The most recent control was in the 20/21 financial year where 30,000ha of land was controlled through trapping and ground laid toxins.

Current state

There are 3 TB infected herds in the Urewera TMA.

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 Urewera 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 control2021/20227,415haMohaka Forest, Willowflat
Ground control2021/202253,484haCoach Road North, Matahorua, Maungataniwha, Mohaka Forest, Opouahi North, Raupunga North, Waiau, Willowflat
Pig survey2021/202241,226haMaungataniwha, Maungataniwha Urewera, Mohaka Forest, Urewera Central, Urewera South
Aerial control2022/202313,174haMaungataniwha, Maungataniwha Urewera
Ground control2022/202321,432haCoach Road North, Maungataniwha, Mohaka Forest
Ground control2023/202448,536haBoundary Stream, Matahorua, Mohaka Forest, Opouahi North, Raupunga North, Waiau, Willowflat
Pig survey2023/202417,825haMohaka Forest


Better Nature manage our pest control operations in Urewera. Contact them directly if you have feedback or questions about upcoming operations.

Better Nature
Phone: 06 836 5590 / 027 576 0776

Your nearest local OSPRI office is in Hamilton.

OSPRI Hamilton office
PO Box 9466
Waikato Mail Centre
Hamilton 3240
Phone: 07 849 8915