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 Central Wairarapa TMA

The boundary of the Central Wairarapa TMA is set by local geographical features:

  • The northern boundary is the Waiohine River, just north of Greytown.
  • Palliser Bay is the southern boundary.
  • Aorangi Range, the east coast hill country is the eastern boundary.
  • The Southern Tararua and Remutaka Ranges are the western boundary.

The habitat is scattered except for the shrubland and bush on the foothills of the Tararua, Remutaka and Aorangi Ranges. Land use is predominantly agricultural, with some horticulture near Greytown, and viticulture around Martinborough.

The herds in the region are mainly beef breeding and meat production herds. There are also several dairy herds, generally situated in the lower valley on the productive low-lying land close to Lake Wairarapa.

History of TB and pest control in Central Wairarapa

The Central Wairarapa TMA has an extensive history of TB in cattle and deer herds. There was a high number of infected herds in the 1990s and early 2000s.

There is also a history of infected wildlife in the area.

  • We caught several TB-infected possums and ferrets next to Lake Wairarapa, and close to the Tararua and Remutaka Ranges.
  • We found TB-infected ferrets and possums in the Ponatahi Longbush area.
  • TB-infected wild pigs have been caught in the Tararua foothills.

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

Central areas of this TMA have been under control for 10 years or more. We've staggered control, with 2-3 years between ground control operations.

Current state

There are no infected herds in Central Wairarapa.

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 Central Wairarapa 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 control2021/202210,000haFeatherston, Woodside
Ground control2022/202321,282haFeatherston, Waiorongomai, Woodside
Ground control2023/202421,282haFeatherston, Waiorongomai, Woodside

Map of 2021/2022 pest control operations

The proposed area for ground control is marked on the map in green.

Map showing Central Wairarapa TB management area, vector control zone, and proposed ground operation area


Better Nature manages eradication activities in the Central Wairarapa TMA. 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 Palmerston North.

OSPRI Palmerston North office
PO Box 9078
Terrace End
Palmerston North 4441
Phone: 06 353 2710