Call for new organisms to be reclassified

When is a new organism no longer new?

The answer: an organism can be reclassified when it has formed a self-sustaining population and is not part of any eradication programme in New Zealand.

This rule can apply to any animal, plant, or microbe that arrived in New Zealand after the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act came into force on 29 July 1998.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is now seeking proposals to deregulate organisms that fit these criteria, so they can be reclassified as no longer new to New Zealand.

“The aim is to reduce the regulatory burden on anyone working with these organisms, perhaps to propagate or study them,” explains Ray McMillian, Acting General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms team.

“It means they won’t need to apply for approval to do that under the HSNO Act, so it makes it easier for them to do their work.

“Anyone can put forward a proposal for a ‘new’ organism to be reclassified. Examples include the Australian citrus whitefly and the bridal creeper rust.”

Proposals must be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday September 28 to the EPA’s New Organisms team.

All proposals will be evaluated by the EPA before a final decision to take the nextstep is made by the Minister for the Environment.

For more information, call 04 474 5581 or email:

Read more about deregulated new organisms [EPA website]




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