Insect collecting in New Zealand and the South Pacific

Insect collecting is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. The diversity of insects, their life cycles and behaviour all make for fascinating study. Their size, however, makes specimens essential for confirming their identification. There are a number of resources available for the interested public, foremost among them being the excellent The preparation and curation of insects by Crosby and Walker. Connect with the Society on Facebook to meet up with other entomologists.

The collection of insects for scientific purposes is necessary for answering critical questions regarding insect diversity, evolution and biology. New Zealand’s unique insect fauna makes it an attractive destination for foreign entomologists. It’s proximity to the Pacific Islands make it a natural choice from which to launch trips into the Pacific.

This page seeks to answer questions regarding the process of negotiating insect collecting permits in New Zealand and nearby Pacific Islands. Much of the material on this page was gathered by Milen Marinov, and collated by Samuel Brown. This information is offered as a guide only, and we accept no responsibility for any inconveniences or losses suffered as a result of following it. Any suggestions or updates should be emailed to webmaster AT ento DOT org DOT nz.

New Zealand

Collecting in New Zealand

The general rule for collecting insects in New Zealand is “consult the landowner”. For collecting on Public conservation land, permits must be sought from the Department of Conservation.

Bringing insects into New Zealand

New Zealand has a strict biosecurity programme, administered by the Ministry of Primary Industries, that seeks to prevent unwanted organisms from establishing in the country. All animal products (including insect specimens) and equipment used for collected insects (nets, traps, tramping boots etc), must be declared upon arrival in New Zealand. Declaration does not incur a fee, and in most cases will only cause a minor delay on your entering the country. Equipment will be checked for live insects and seeds etc, and specimens will be checked to ensure that they are dead. Specimens can be dry preserved by being pinned, or in paper envelopes; or wet preserved in alcohol, propylene glycol or hand sanitizer. Make it clear that specimens are for scientific study.

For more information, please consult the MPI webpage on Importing preserved animal specimens from all countries, or contact MPI directly.

Importation of live insects is much more problematic, and should only be done after obtaining the correct permits from MPI, and after consultation with colleagues in New Zealand.

Cook Islands

Collecting in the Cook Islands is administered by the Research Secretariat which is attached to the Office of the Prime Minister. Applications are requested three months before the intended visit, however applications usually only take around two weeks to be processed. An administration fee of $80 NZD is charged. For research intended to be conducted out in our outer islands, research proposals must first obtain approval from the island Mayor. Intending researchers should also visit the Cook Islands Immigration website www.mfai.gov.ck.

Resources

Application form to undertake research in the Cook Islands (52 KB, DOC format, in English)
Information on conducting research in the Cook Islands (187 KB, PDF format, in English)
Cook Islands Visa information (52 KB, DOC format, in English)

Contact

Gerald MCCORMACK
Natural Heritage Trust
PO Box 781
Rarotonga
Cook Islands
Ph: +(682) 20 959
gerald AT nature DOT gov DOT ck
cookislands.bishopmuseum.org

Tina SAMSON (Administrative information)
Corporate Services Officer
Office of the Prime Minister
Private Bag
Avarua
Rarotonga
Cook Islands
Ph: +(682) 25 494 ext 801
Fax: +(682) 20 856
tina DOT samson AT cookislands DOT gov DOT ck

Fiji

Information on Fijian biosecurity is available from http://www.baf.com.fj.

French Polynesia

Research applications for foreign biologists working in marine or terrestrial ecosystems must be submitted through the Délégation à la Recherche de la Polynésie française. Further details of the process, and the application form, can be downloaded using the links below.

Resources

Application form for collecting permit (40 KB, DOC format, in French and English)
Application form for collecting permit (36 KB, PDF format, in English)

Contact

Dr Jean-Yves MEYER
Délégué à la recherche
Délégation à la Recherche de la Polynésie française
French Polynesian Research Department
B.P. 20981
98713 Papeete
Tahiti
French Polynesia
phone 689 40 47 25 60
fax 689 40 43 34 00
jean-yves DOT meyer AT recherche DOT gov DOT pf

New Caledonia (Southern Province)

Applications for collecting permits must be received at least two months before the intended visit. Applications require a copy of the passports of the collectors, a list of of the intended collecting sites (especially if one intends to collect in parks and nature reserves) and two original copies of the contract of access (see Resources). It is recommended that contact be made with colleagues in one of the New Caledonian public research centres (IRD, IAC, University of New Caledonia). More information can be obtained the province’s website: www.province-sud.nc

Resources

Contrat autorisant l’accès à des ressources biologiques, génétiques et biochimiques sur le domaine de la province Sud (200 KB, DOC format, in French)
Demande de derogation relative; aux especes endemiques, rares ou menacees; aux aires protegees; aux ressources génétiques, biologiques et biochimiques (795 KB, PDF format, in French)
Avis prealable d’un organisme de recherche public en Nouvelle-Caledonie sur le projet d’un rcolteur etranger (164 KB, DOC format, in French)
Attestation sur l’honneur (163 KB, DOCX format, in French)

Contact

Cendrine MERESSE
Chargée de la faune terrestre
Direction de l’environnement
Ph: 20 34 55
Fax: 20 30 06
cendrine DOT meresse AT province DASH sud DOT nc

It is recommended that applications be CC’d to:
Nicolas DOT rinck AT province DASH sud DOT nc
marguerite DOT jebez AT province DASH sud DOT nc

Solomon Islands

The key steps for applying for a Bioresearch or Bio-prospecting Permit in the Solomon Islands is as follows:

  • Liaise with counterparts (SI research or organisations or event Government representative) in SI for research topic/sites.
  • Apply using the Application form (see Resources) to Director of Environment and Conservation. The application should be supported by the applicant’s CV, and letters of support from SI counterparts. A non-refundable fee of $200 SBD applies.
  • ECD team evaluates the application—can take up to two weeks
  • If the permit is granted, a non-refunded fee of $1000 SBD is charged. Community and provincial fees may also be charged at various sites. Conditions are stipulated in the permit.

If these collection requires samples that need to be shipped overseas, then an export permit can be sought from the Environment & Conservation Division. Export for scientific purposes incur fees ranging from $500–$2000 SBD depending on species/groups.

Kindly note that our research program is still in its infant stage however plans are underway to establish a Research Registry.

Research officers at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and staff at the Quarantine Department undertake regular insect collecting.

Resources

Protected Areas Bill 2010 (77 KB, PDF format, in English)

Contact

Agnetha VAVE-KARAMUI
Environment & Conservation Division (ECD)
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology (MECDM)
PO Box 21, Honiara. Solomon Islands.
Ph: (+677) 23031/2 ext. 206
Fax: (+677) 28054.
vavekaramui_a AT mecm DOT gov DOT sb
agnetha DOT vavekaramui AT gmail DOT com

Wallis and Futuna

Collecting in Wallis and Futuna requires filling out an application form (see Resources). This form takes approximately one month to be processed, and an official document will be returned to the applicant. It is recommended that the applicant include any extra documents that might be useful in the process.

Resources

Application form for collecting permit (16 KB, PDF format, in French)

Contact

Atoloto MALAU
Service de l’environnement
BP 294 MATA UTU
98600 UVEA
Ph: 00 681 72 05 97
Fax: 00 681 72 03 51
senv AT mail DOTwf

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