Why you need to check your gear: The Hauraki Gulf is a nationally-significant marine park. Many of the islands of the Gulf are pest free, or partially pest free. This means they are now home to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered species – eg tuatara, takahe, shore plover and kiwi. The islands are also recovering naturally as birds reintroduce themselves to these safe havens. It is important to keep them pest free – and we need your help!
Pest animals and plants can invade our islands by stowing away on or in your footwear, gear or boat. Rats can squeeze through a 12 mm gap and mice can squeeze through a 7 mm gap. Insects could hide in your bag, and weeds, seeds and soil could cling to your clothing and shoes.
Pests threaten New Zealand’s native wildlife.
- Rats eat birds, eggs, reptiles and insects.
- Mice prey on insects and eat small birds and reptiles.
- Argentine ants can reach large numbers and have a big appetite killing our native insects, skinks, geckos and baby birds.
- Plague skinks compete with native lizards and other animals for food and habitat and have displaced our native skinks on the mainland.
- Soil can carry plant diseases such as kauri dieback.
- Weed seeds can become a weed forest and smother native plants
Day trippers and Overnight Visitors – prepare for your trip by being alert for these threats. Please:
- Make sure all food is packed and sealed in plastic containers with lid. Ensure cardboard boxes are closed and taped – there must be no opportunity for an unwanted pest to access the container/box in transit.
- Ensure all footwear and gear is clean and free of soil.
- Thoroughly check any camping or overnight gear for stowaways. Gear that has been stored away is high risk.
- Thoroughly check seedlings, potting mix or plant matter to ensure there are no hitch-hikers.
- Seal up your gear/food as soon as you have finished packing and leave it closed until you reach your destination.
Without your co-operation your trip may not be able to take place. All visitors to pest-free islands must abide by strict biosecurity measures. This is to minimise the risk of ecological damage caused by the inadvertent introduction of disease and pet species, such as rodents, invertebrates, weeds and fungi.
Pest-free Islands include:
- Beehive Island (Taungamaro
- Browns Island (Motukorea)
- Broken Islands (Pig Islands)
- Kaikoura Island (Selwyn Island
- Mokohinau Islands
- Motuhaku Island
- Motuihe Island/Te Motu-a-Ihenga
- Motuketekete Island
- Motuora Island
- Moturekareka Island
- Motutapu Island
- Pakatoa Island
- Rakino Island
- Rangitoto Island
- Rotoroa Island
- Tarahiki (Shag Island east of Waiheke)
- Te Haupa Island (Saddle Island)
- Te Hauturu-o0Toi/Little Barrier Island
- The Noises
- Tiritiri Matangi Island
Note that the following islands are not considered completely pest-free, but are free of some pest species: Waiheke, Kawau, Aotea/Great Barrier. Biosecurity measures are still required to minimise pest traffic.