New Zealand’s geographic isolation means that many of our unique indigenous plants and birds are vulnerable to introduced pests and diseases. This isolation also protects our agricultural, forestry and marine industry from some overseas diseases. 

Effects of pests and diseases

Plant diseases can threaten the viability of agricultural crops (as seen with PSA and Kiwifruit), or threaten our indigenous flora (as seen with Kauri dieback disease). Outbreaks of other diseases or pests (such as foot-and-mouth in animals or fruit fly in apples) would affect New Zealand’s export markets and would bring significant impacts to New Zealand's economy, rural communities and support industries such as food processing and transport. Some animal diseases, such as tuberculosis or swine flu, can also infect humans and could even result in a human pandemic.

Find out more

Further information is available from the Ministry of Primary Industries: Protection & Response