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 South East Wairarapa TMA

The South East Wairarapa TMA is on the southern tip of the North Island. The geographical features that define this TMA are:

  • the Kaiwhata River in the north
  • the Wairarapa Valley to the west
  • Cape Palliser in the south, and
  • the east coastline.

Land use within the TMA is extensive beef and sheep farms, and large pine plantations. The DOC reserves Rocky Hill sanctuary, Tora Bush Scenic reserve, and the Aorangi Forest Park are all included in the boundary of this TMA.

History of TB and pest control in South East Wairarapa

This TMA has a long history with TB, with infected cattle herds present across the TMA. We last found infected herds in 2010/2011, close to the Aorangi Range. TB has been detected in the possum population, ferrets, deer and in pigs. Wild cattle caught in the foothills of the Aorangi Range were also found to be TB infected.

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 South East Wairarapa 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 aerial control operations in South East Wairarapa Stage 3 and Haurangi Crown in 2014 and 2017 as part of the Aorangi Project.

Recent ground control has focused on areas around the aerial control to prevent possums moving into the aerial control blocks. The ground control operations have used both trapping and bait station methods to control the possum population. In the 2020/2021 year a total of 34,000 hectares were treated using these methods.

Current state

There are no infected herds in South East Wairarapa at present.

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 South East 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
Aerial control2021/202230,556haHaurangi Crown, South East Wairarapa Stage 2, South East Wairarapa Stage 3
Ground control2021/202213,318haSouth East Wairarapa Stage 3
Pig survey2021/202225,927haTe Wharau Buffer, Te Wharau Core
Ground control2022/202313,581haSouth East Wairarapa Stage 1, South East Wairarapa Stage 2
Pig survey2022/202385,737haSouth East Wairarapa Stage 1, South East Wairarapa Stage 3, Te Wharau Buffer, Te Wharau Core
Pig survey2023/202492,164haHaurangi Crown, South East Wairarapa Stage 1, South East Wairarapa Stage 3, Te Wharau Buffer, Te Wharau Core


EPRO manages aerial control operations and Supplejack Contracting Limited manages ground control operations in the South East Wairarapa TMA. Contact them directly if you have feedback or questions about upcoming operations.

EPRO Limited
Phone: 0800 275 3776

Supplejack Contracting Limited
Phone: 06 378 8414

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