Rules for new organisms

New organisms should benefit New Zealand without harming the environment. Find out if an organism is new and how the application process works.

Is your organism new?

Organisms that were present in New Zealand before 29 July 1998 are not considered new. We can help you determine if your organism is new.

Prohibited organisms

Snakes, squirrels and sticklebacks are all prohibited from entering New Zealand. You need to confirm that your new organism is not on the prohibited list.

Existing approvals that you could use

In some cases, you may not need to apply for approval to import a new organism because one already exists.

What is Containment

Containment facilities are designed and operated to prevent the release of the organism – or its heritable material – into the wider environment.

GM field tests

Setting the rules for field tests and outdoor developments of GMOs is an important part of the EPA's work.

Reassessment of approvals

Sometimes we might need to take a second look at an approval for a new organism.

Compliance, enforcement and incidents

The Ministry for Primary Industries is the EPA's enforcement agency and must be contacted when a contained organism escapes from containment.

Amend existing approval

An amendment allows changes to a new organism approval after it has been given – if the change is minor in effect, or corrects a minor or technical error.

Recent new organisms decisions

Decisions on New Organisms applications made within the last couple of months

Changing the status of a new organism

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