Novel Tools and Strategies

Novel tools, technologies and strategies need to be deployed to eradicate biotic threats.

This research is Active
Introduced Vespula germanica wasp.

Overview Te Tirohanga Whānui

Invasive species continue to change native ecosystems in Aotearoa through competition, predation, infection and habitat alteration. Biological invasions also have large economic impacts on our primary industries, as well as cultural and social impacts on our people.

New Zealand’s biosecurity systems are not well enough equipped to deal with emerging threats in an ever-changing global environment.

We need to be able to intercept more biosecurity threats that appear at our airports, mail centres and seaports, before they enter the environment, establish, and spread. We also need better tools and strategies to deal with pests that have already breached our border and set up shop.

Teams investigating Novel Tools & Strategies are working towards creating a better biosecurity network of 5 million through three very different projects, while supporting the mahi (work) of those already working hard in this field.

By authentically partnering with mana whenua and involving end-users throughout the research and design phase, this investment aims to enable real, ‘on the ground’ change for New Zealand’s biosecurity system.

This programme is split into two work streams:

Resource outputs from this programme


Scale and complexity implications of making New Zealand predator-free by 2050

The goal to make New Zealand predator-free by 2050 has drawn strong praise and criticism, but these critiques have focused largely on economic or technological…
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Can immune gene silencing via dsRNA feeding promote pathogenic viruses to control the globally invasive Argentine ant?

Pest control methods that can target pest species with limited environmental impacts are a conservation and economic priority. Species-specific pest control using RNA interference is…
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Gene silencing for invasive paper wasp management: Synthesized dsRNA can modify gene expression but did not affect mortality

Invasive paper wasps such as Polistes dominula are a major pest and problem for biodiversity around the globe. Safe and highly targeted methods for the control of…
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Gene drive and RNAi technologies: a bio-cultural review of next-generation tools for pest wasp management in New Zealand

There is a global need for novel, next-generation technologies and techniques to manage pest species. We review work on potential step-changing technologies for large landscape…
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