Effective quarantine and biosecurity procedures prevent the entry of exotic diseases or their carriers into New Zealand.

Nelson Marlborough Health Public Health Service undertakes mosquito surveillance at the border (Nelson Airport (unscheduled international flights) and Ports at Nelson and Marlborough). This is to prevent exotic mosquitoes from the becoming established in New Zealand.

Nelson Marlborough Health Public Health Service's quarantine and biosecurity procedures at these locations includes:

  • monitoring for exotic mosquitoes
  • responding to notifications of exotic mosquito interceptions and incursions
  • responding to ill passengers on international flights or cruise ships
  • inspecting ships for sanitary conditions and disease carriers such as mosquitoes and rats.


Monitoring for exotic mosquitoes

The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service's exotic mosquito surveillance programme helps to prevent the spread of serious viruses.

These include the Zika virus, malaria, Ross River virus and dengue fever.

The Public Health Service:

  • maintains mosquito surveillance at Nelson and Marlborough ports
  • responds to suspected exotic mosquito sightings and reports
  • responds to public questions and complaints about mosquitoes.

More about mosquitoes in the Nelson Marlborough region

  • New Zealand has 12 native mosquito species and three well-established introduced species.
  • New Zealand is an appealing environment for exotic mosquitoes and, once established, they are difficult and expensive to eradicate.
  • Nelson and Marlborough have busy seaports (entry points for mosquitoes that may travel in cargo), and mosquito-friendly habitats.



Rats pose a risk to public health for a number of reasons. Their fleas are capable of transmitting plague, and the rats themselves can spread diseases such  as typhus, leptospirosis and many more through their urine, faeces and bites.


Responding to infectious diseases and other public health hazards

The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service makes sure that the ports in its region are prepared for public health hazards by:

  • maintaining emergency response plans
  • assessing unwell international travellers and crew
  • developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders.

Ports at Nelson and Marlborough are designated as 'points of entry' under the International Health Regulations 2005. This means that ports must be prepared to respond to a public health hazard, event or emergency of international concern.

Hazards include chemical, biological or radiological hazards as well as infectious diseases.

For the most up-to date-information about New Zealand's current border controls, visit the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 border controls page.