About the plan

The New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan was launched in 2017.

The Ministry for Primary Industries and Ministry of Health jointly govern the plan. Implementation involves partners from across the human health, animal health and agriculture sectors.

There are 18 priority action areas in the plan, with specific activities to be implemented over five years. Some activities are ongoing, some were prioritised for year 1 and others for later years. Activities may be amended in later years to ensure the success of the plan.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global public health threat which affects patients, communities and threatens to undermine the modern health system.


Antimicrobial resistance can also have serious negative impacts on animal health, welfare and production.


The New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan was jointly developed by the Ministry of Health, Ministry for Primary Industries and representatives from across the human health, animal health and agriculture sectors.


The document draws upon the findings from Antimicrobial Resistance - New Zealand's current situation and identified areas for action, released in 2017.


The Action Plan’s vision is that New Zealand manages antimicrobials as a valuable shared resource and maintains their efficacy so they can be used to treat infections in humans, as well as to manage diseases in animals and plants.


It has five key objectives:


  • awareness and understanding
  • surveillance and research
  • infection prevention and control
  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • governance, collaboration and investment.


Based on a ‘One Health’ approach, the plan enables coordinated national action to minimise the impacts of antimicrobial resistance on New Zealand and beyond.

Priority action areas

Objective 1: Awareness and understanding

  1. Strengthen consumer awareness to improve understanding of antimicrobial resistance and the importance of using antibiotics appropriately.
  2. Strengthen communication and education initiatives on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship for all prescribers, and those working in the human health, animal health and agricultural sectors.

Objective 2: Surveillance and research

  1. Establish a coordinated national surveillance programme of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in humans, animals and agriculture.
  2. Develop lists of priority organisms, key resistance genes and antimicrobials for national reporting.
  3. Implement a national minimum standard for laboratory testing and reporting of antimicrobial susceptibility.
  4. Support national priorities for research on antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial consumption and stewardship in human health, animal health and agriculture.

Objective 3: Infection prevention and control

  1. Develop and update national guidelines and standards for IPC to achieve a nationally consistent approach, and enhance accreditation and quality assurance programmes so that more practitioners follow best-practice IPC measures across human health, animal health and agriculture.
  2. Promote a cohesive and sustainable ‘one team’ approach to IPC functions in all human health care facilities.
  3. Encourage continued immunisation to prevent infections.
  4. Promote prevention and control of zoonotic infections.
  5. Encourage alternative approaches to reduce infection and the need for antimicrobial use in animals.

Objective 4: Antimicrobial stewardship

  1. Develop a national programme or standard for AMS in all sectors of human health, including resources and/or targets for use in all sectors.
  2. Develop a national programme or standard for AMS in animal health.
  3. Establish a programme of regularly monitoring the controls on antimicrobial veterinary medicines.
  4. Review the controls (conditions of registration), labelling and advertising of antimicrobial-based trade name products to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Objective 5: Governance, collaboration and investment

  1. Establish a sustainable national governance structure to coordinate all efforts to minimise antimicrobial resistance.
  2. Ensure that there is sustainable investment in initiatives to minimise the impacts of antimicrobial resistance. This includes ongoing investment in surveillance, communication, stewardship and infection prevention and control.
  3. Establish the necessary national and international links and collaborations to implement the AMR Action Plan effectively.