Goats were introduced to New Zealand in the 1770s as a food source and to clear weeds in settlement areas. As a species they adapted impeccably to the native environment and landscape and their population quickly grew. With their ease in domestication, most New Zealand goats derive from farms and their wild population is mostly due to escapes and illegal releases.

Although they are advantageous in their appetite for weeds and shrubs otherwise unwanted, they quickly became a pest species in New Zealand, for their rapid growth in population and damage to native plants. Feral goat hunting in NZ has been encouraged for many years with organised culls becoming more frequent to control population size.