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 Whanawhana to Opouahi TMA

The Whanawhana to Opouahi TMA is a long narrow area located in the Hawke’s Bay region. The Gwavas forest, which includes the Gwavas conservation area, is in the southern section of the TMA, and the Boundary Stream Mainland Island reserve is in the northern section. The land is mainly easy to medium hill country, with the steep Wakarua Range in the south.

Herds within the TMA are predominantly beef breeding and meat production herds, and there's a small number of dairy herds. There are also some forestry operations within the Gwavas and Mohaka buffer areas.

History of TB and pest control in Whanawhana to Opouahi

TB infection was found in local wildlife of the neighbouring area of Tutaekuri Waitara with TB infected pigs, ferrets and possums being identified.

Previous possum control and livestock disease management has reduced the number of infected herds in the Hawke's Bay region. However, our monitoring has shown that we need to do further control work in the Whanawhana to Opouahi area to further 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. 

The Whanawhana to Opouahi area has a history of ground control, including the use of bait stations in some areas. In 2015/16, we completed:

  • detection, followed by control and survey of possums, in Kereru, Mangleton, Rissington North, and Matahorua West.
  • ground control in Kereru, Mangleton, Matahorua West, Mohaka Buffer, Patoka, Rissington North, and Whanawhana.

We also completed 47,000ha of ground control using traps and hand laid toxins in 2020/2021.

Current state

There are 3 infected herds in the Whanawhana to Opouahi 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 Whanawhana to Opouahi 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
Ground control2021/202252,100haMatahorua West, Mohaka Buffer, Opouahi, Patoka, Rissington North
Aerial control2022/20232,053haMohaka Buffer
Ground control2022/202323,248haMohaka Buffer, Patoka, Rissington North
Ground control2023/202452,100haMatahorua West, Mohaka Buffer, Opouahi, Patoka, Rissington North


Better Nature manage our pest control operations in Whanawhana to Opouahi. 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