Indicators at a glance - Border Health

This section summarises the latest Environmental Health Indicators about border health in New Zealand.


New Zealand health is affected by exotic diseases which cross our international borders. Border health indicators monitor overseas threats to our health and their impacts in New Zealand.

Indicator Key findings
Overseas infectious diseases of priority concern
  • Zika infection and microcephaly and other neurological disorders alerted as the only new Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in 2016-17.
  • Polio has remained a PHEIC since it was first announced in 2014.
  • Three types of severe respiratory virus were reported, 2013-17.
  • Dengue spread to more countries and territories in the Pacific, 2013-17.
Border health in New Zealand
  • Zika declared a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ in 2016.
  • 99 cases of Zika were imported into New Zealand in 2016 and there was one locally acquired sexually transmitted case.
  • In 2016 New Zealand  recorded its highest total for all reported cases of mosquito-borne diseases since 2001.
  • Almost all mosquito-borne diseases were diagnosed after cases had travelled overseas, often within the Asia-Pacific region.
  • There were age, gender, ethnic and regional differences in who acquired these exotic diseases.
High-risk pests caught at New Zealand’s border
  • On average, from 2008-17, there were ten border interceptions each year of exotic mosquitoes. Most (>83%) interceptions occurred in Auckland.
  • Twenty types of high-risk mosquito species of public health concern were caught, 2008-17
  • Most (64%) intercepted suspected mosquitoes originated from the Asia-Pacific region. Australia was by far the biggest source by country.
  • Most suspected mosquitoes came by sea and among general cargo.
Exotic Mosquito species established in New Zealand
  • No new exotic mosquitoes were introduced to New Zealand between 2009 and 2018.
  • As of 2018, there are three long-established exotic mosquito species in New Zealand.
  • The Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito (Aedes camptorhyncus) - first reported to be living in New Zealand in 1998 - was eradicated in 2010.
  • In 2018 Culex sitiens was detected in Kaipara Harbour through the National Salt
    marsh mosquito surveillance programme.