Frequently Asked Questions

Help keep New Zealand free of new weeds and pests

I've found an important new pest. What should I do?

If you're confident that you've found a pest species new to New Zealand, please don't hesitate to call Biosecurity New Zealand free at 0800 80 99 66.

If you're less sure, or if it's a pest already in New Zealand that's spreading, take a photo with the Find-A-Pest app. We'll identify it, pass your observation on to the relevant agencies, and let you know the details.


Why should I use Find-A-Pest app?

Find-A-Pest is all about helping you to keep your corner of New Zealand protected from new pests and weeds. It lets you take a photo and identify any unusual species you find. It you think it might be a new pest, don't hesitate to click the blue camera icon in the app and make an observation. If you have found an important pest, we'll pass on the relevant agency and let you know.

Find-A-Pest is also filled with fact sheets about the most important new and nearby pests that you should be keeping an eye out for.


Where can I find help getting started with the Find-A-Pest app?

Head on over to our Help page where we've got illustrated step-by-step instructions on using the Find-A-Pest app.


Who makes Find-A-Pest?

Find-A-Pest is a team effort. It is run by New Zealand scientists at Scion and Lincoln University, with lots of help from the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Regional Councils, Biosecurity New Zealand, the New Zealand Forest Owners Association, Kiwifruit Vine Health, and iNaturalist NZ. Find-A-Pest also has had feedback and support from many other institutions and industry groups. See our About page for them all.

Our app design was refined and our app built by the clever developers at Cucumber, based in Tauranga.


Why do I sign in to Find-A-Pest with an iNaturalist NZ account?

iNaturalist NZ is an engine for identifying any species anywhere. iNaturalist NZ (previously NatureWatch NZ) has been operating in New Zealand since 2012 as New Zealand's member of the global iNaturalist Network, operated by the California Academy of Science and the US National Geographic.

By using an iNaturalist NZ account for Find-A-Pest, it means that we can seamlessly pass your observations to iNaturalist NZ for identifications and display the results in Find-A-Pest.


Why do I need to give Find-A-Pest my phone number before I can make observations?

If you make an observation of an important pest, it's essential that we, and agencies like Biosecurity New Zealand, can get hold of you straight away if we need more details from you. It's for this reason and this reason only that we require your phone number. We will keep your number safe and not pass it on to anyone except approved New Zealand biosecurity agencies.


Will Find-A-Pest work offline?

Absolutely. A lot of remote areas of New Zealand have no mobile coverage and Find-A-Pest is designed to work everywhere. If you're offline, all the observations you make will be queued in the app. Next time you're on wi-fi or data and have Find-A-Pest open, your queued observations will upload to the Find-A-Pest server for identification.


How do I promote the use of Find-A-Pest in my community?

We're making a pamphlet and we'll link to it here when we're done.