The South Island town overrun by rabbits

Baby wild rabbits are taking over Moeraki in their thousands.  

The pests are fast becoming a problem for residents in the seaside village, better known for its famous boulders than a plague of rabbits.

"It's pretty bad, there's a carpet of rabbits - a moving carpet of rabbit's," said town resident Leanne French. "They're everywhere - they're adorable, but they're everywhere."

Said resident Rosalie Goldsworthy: "They eat their shrubbery, they'll ring bark their trees... it's really at plague level."

It's every landowner's responsibility to control them, but they can't shoot, poison or trap them.

Two decades ago, the rabbit-killing calicivirus was released, after South Island farms were overrun with the rodents.

It travels in waves and is used in the fight to kill off feral rabbits devastating farm land.

Now the Ministry of Primary Industry is awaiting approval to release a new Korean strain of the virus that isn't found here, but some people are concerned about its possible effects.

"The main worry is what else does it affect, like we've got native falcons flying around here," said resident Fleur Sullivan.

If approved, MPI will release it next autumn.

Until then, it's a rabbit paradise down by the sea.