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 Eastern Tararua TMA

The Eastern Tararua TMA is located on the eastern edge of the Tararua Range and includes some of the Tararua foothills. It runs from the Ruamāhanga River in the north to the Waiohine River in the south. Most of the western boundary is the Tararua Forest Park, and to the east are the Masterton and Carterton townships.

The western side of the TMA lies within the Tararua foothills and has a higher habitat cover with shrubland and some pine plantations. This cover reaches to the neighbouring Southern Tararua and Northern Tararua TMAs. Towards the east, the land becomes flatter and the farming more intensive.

Most of the herds in the TMA are beef herds – approximately 70% are meat production herds. There are also several dairy herds. Most of the herds are in the Holdsworth Carterton Eradication area.

History of TB and pest control in Eastern Tararua

The Eastern Tararua TMA has an extensive history of TB in cattle herds. Historically, infected local wildlife has also been found either in, or very close to, this TMA. The area with the most history of TB infected wildlife is the Holdsworth Carterton Buffer, close to the Waiohine River. We found a TB-infected pig in this area in 2012/2013.

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

The areas in this TMA have been under control since the 1990s and most areas have had consistent ground-based control since 2008/2009. We completed ground control operations:

  • across the TMA in 2014/2015
  • in the Holdsworth Carterton (Carrington) area in 2017
  • in the Holdsworth Carterton (Carrington), Holdsworth Carterton Buffer, and Mt Bruce to Waipoua (Kiriwhakapapa) areas in 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

Current state

There are no infected herds in the Eastern Tararua 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 Eastern Tararua 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 control2021/202217,377haHoldsworth Carterton Buffer, Mt Bruce to Waipoua (Kiriwhakapapa)
Ground control2023/202423,629haHoldsworth Carterton (Carrington), Holdsworth Carterton Buffer, Mt Bruce to Waipoua (Kiriwhakapapa)

Map of 2021/2022 pest control operations

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

Map showing Eastern Tararua TB management area, vector control zone, and proposed ground operations area


Better Nature manages eradication activities in the Eastern Tararua 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