New Zealand pest management: current and future challenges.
New Zealand is under increasing pressure from terrestrial and aquatic pests, weeds and diseases that threaten the country's ecosystems and economy. Ongoing improvement in existing pest management methodologies and novel approaches are required in response to public concerns about animal welfare, increasingly stringent trade requirements, abolition of groups of pesticides and resistance to existing pesticides as well as, possibly, biological control agents. Surveillance and pest monitoring are needed to increase the chances of early interception of invasive species or to confirm their eradication. Core capabilities in taxonomy, genomics, phenology, ecology, pest impacts, development of novel control tools and social science are required and must be maintained nationally. Given New Zealand's unique environment, the ecology of invasive pests cannot be presumed to be the same as that in their native ranges, yet currently many pests in New Zealand are managed with poor understanding of their bionomics and impacts. Failure to address these areas will have serious adverse impacts on New Zealand.