Legislative requirements relating to controls

Below is an overview of the key points of legislation relating to the control of pests. For a full guide on legislative requirements please read ‘Legislation Guide, User Guide to Legislation Relating to Terrestrial Pest Control, November 2015’ in the Library

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

  • All practicable steps must be taken to ensure safety of workers and others.
  • Everyone involved in the work is responsible for ensuring safety

Trespass Act 1980

  • You must have permission of the occupier before carrying out pest control work
  • Permission is required both on public and private land.

Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977

  • Avoid starting or causing fires and take all precautions necessary to prevent a fire.
  • Obtain any permits necessary to light a fire in an open season.
  • Dial 111 in an emergency.

Conservation Act 1987, National Parks Act 1980, New Zealand Walkways Act 1990, Reserves Act 1977

  • Clearly identify any land managed by the Department of Conservation, and public walkways.
  • Clearly identify any Reserves or Walkways managed by local councils.
  • Always get permission before doing any pest control, and comply with all conditions imposed.

Wild Animals Control Act 1977

  • When living in a wild state (not farmed), Wild Animals include any deer, chamois, thar or goat.
  • Anyone may hunt or kill wild animals, with the permission of the owner, occupier or person in charge, subject to the requirements of other legislation.

Wildlife Act 1953

  • All vertebrate wildlife is protected by default. But some vertebrate species are expressly excluded from protection, and may be controlled.
  • Invertebrate species are not protected, except for some species which are expressly protected.
  • Make sure you are legally allowed to control your target species. Check the species diagram in ‘Legislation Guide, User Guide to Legislation Relating to Terrestrial Pest Control, November 2015’ in the Library

Biosecurity Act 1993

  • Pests and unwanted organisms may be controlled only in accordance with a pest management strategy, or a small-scale management programme.

Arms Act 1983

  • You must hold a firearms license to use a firearm.
  • You must have permission of the occupier to use firearms on any land.
  • Talk to the Police for a dispensation if you need to carry a loaded firearm on a vehicle (night shooting), or you intend to discharge a firearm where that is not normally permitted (e.g. urban areas and parks).

Animal Welfare Act 1999

  • All practical steps should be taken to ensure pest control activities are humane.
  • Some leg-hold traps, and all glue board traps, are prohibited.
  • Live capture traps must be checked within 12 hours of sunrise.
  • No leg-hold trap may be used within 150m of a dwelling without the permission of the occupier, or in any area where there is a probable risk of catching a pet animal.

Hazardous Substances and New Organism Act 1996

  • You need to be licensed to use most VTA’s (vertebrate toxic agents).
  • Much helpful information on working with VTA’s is provided on the product label and safety data sheet. Make sure you know and use that information.
  • More detailed guidance on your obligations when working with VTA’s is provided in a helpful and concise 35-page booklet. Contact Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for your copy: www.epa.govt.nz

Regulation 28(1) requires that signs be placed either:
1. Anytime a substance is laid outdoors in bait form, or,
2. Only where a substance is laid outdoors in a place to which members of the public ordinarily have access.

The substances for which signs are only required in places to which the public normally have access are:

  • 3-chloro-p-toluidine-hydrochloride 
  • alpha chloralose 
  • brodifacoum 
  • bromadialone 
  • cholecalciferol 
  • coumatetralyl 
  • diphacinone 
  • flocoumafen 
  • pindone.

All other 6.1 hazardous substances must have appropriate signage anytime they are laid outdoors, whether the public has access or not. For a full list of requirements in regards to signage check out 'Minimum requirements for signage where vertebrate toxic agents are laid outdoors for pets control' in the Library. 

Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997

  • There may be controls and conditions of use imposed in addition to HSNO controls.
  • These conditions will be explicitly stated on the label, and must be observed.

Health Act 1956

  • You must avoid creating nuisances or conditions likely to be injurious to health.
  • You must not contaminate water supplies.
  • You may need permission from the Medical Officer of Health (via Public Health Protection Officers) to use certain VTA’s in specific places.

Resource Management Act 1991

  • You have a general obligation to avoid or manage adverse effects on the environment.
  • Regional and District Plans have specific provisions relevant to storage, use and disposal of hazardous or dangerous things.
  • You may need to obtain resource consent, or ensure you comply with any conditions of a permitted activity before you proceed.

Building Act 2004

  • Your storage facility for hazardous or dangerous things must meet the standards required by your local council.

Fire Service Act 1975, Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006

  • Your storage facility for hazardous or dangerous things must meet the standards required by the Fire Service.

Land Transport Act 1998

  • You must hold the correct driver’s licence for your class of vehicle.
  • If you are transporting any quantity of hazardous or dangerous things for hire or reward (i.e. commercial transport), then your licence must have a DG (Dangerous Goods) endorsement.
  • If you are transporting certain limited quantities of hazardous or dangerous things in the course of your work (“Tools of Trade”), then you do not need a DG
  • Endorsement. If you carry more than the prescribed threshold quantity then you will need a DG endorsement.
  • In any case, you must always comply directly with the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005. Get a copy.
  • Talk to the Police for a dispensation if you need to carry a loaded firearm on a vehicle (night shooting).

Civil Aviation Act 1990

  • The Civil Aviation Rules impose detailed controls relating to aerial pest control activities.