Changing the status of a new organism

A new organism present in New Zealand can have its status as “new” removed.

This change means that the rules of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act would not apply to the organism anymore.

Applying for a change of status

You can propose to change the status of a new organism during our call for expressions of interest. There is no charge to make a proposal.

A new organism that is a species not present in New Zealand before 29 July 1998, or is already under a containment or conditional release approval, can be a candidate.

When considering candidates we will consider whether:

  • the new organism has formed a self-sustaining population in New Zealand
  • any person is attempting to manage, control or eradicate the new organism under any Act
  • changing the status of the new organism is in accordance with the purpose and principles of the HSNO Act.

Proposing a candidate new organism is not a guarantee that the status of the organism will be changed. Organisms will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

You will be advised to apply to use another pathway if there’s an appropriate one available.

Providing evidence

You can provide evidence that an organism has formed a self-sustaining population somewhere in New Zealand by providing:

  • observations of organism specimens over a sufficient period of time to suggest that there has been more than one generation of the same organism
  • a letter from an expert, scientific papers, official databases, MPI observations, or other documentation.

To find out if a new organism is being managed, controlled or eradicated under any Act, you can consult the Unwanted Organism Register or contact the Ministry for Primary Industries.

You can also seek information from Regional Councils. Each council should have a Regional Pest Management Plan with a list of organisms they are trying to manage.

If your new organism meets the criteria, it will go through a public consultation where Māori, the public, councils, and government agencies will have the opportunity to inform us about the status of your organism in their region.

The status of a new organism is formally changed by an Order in Council, which is approved by the Governor-General.

How long is the process?

A complete round will take about 12 months to be completed.

Timeline for denewing

This process is not intended to avoid the need for a HSNO Act approval for importing and using new organisms, but to remove unnecessary legal restrictions on an organism already established in New Zealand.

To stay informed email neworganisms@epa.govt.nz to be added to our contact list.