Animal control officials are pleading with people to think twice about getting a pet rabbit this Christmas, with more and more of the invasive pests being found abandoned in the city's parks and reserves.
Because they breed, well, like rabbits, it does not take long before a population can start causing serious environmental problems.
Fortunately, there is an ace team of rabbit catchers on the case.
Ten-year-old border terrier cross Abby has been sniffing out bunnies with her handler Gary Bowcock over the last eight years.
The pair were on a rabbit hunt on Tuesday morning at Waiatarua Reserve in Remuera.
Abby is the Department of Conservation's only certified rabbit detector dog and the only one in the country.
Having lived and worked together for eight years, Bowcock said the pair were completely in-sync.
"As we get older, we understand each other and sure we slow down a bit, but we still get the job done and I can read her and she can read me so that's even better."
Thanks to their work the rabbit population in the park has massively dropped from several hundred burrows two years ago down to just a handful.
On Tuesday they were hoping to find the last of them.
Abby leads the way, sniffing out rabbit trails following them to their holes.
Then Bowcock takes over, cutting back the burrow with a spade.
He then puts gas pellets down the hole and stuffs the entrance with green leaves to prevent the rabbits digging out.
"Then a night shoot will carry on after that, anything that survived us will be shot, come back again in a couple of weeks time just to check the holes are still filled in and you haven't missed one because rabbits are cunning little buggers."
Cunning little buggers that are causing chaos between Waiatarua Reserve and Colin Maiden Park; digging up plants, sports fields and archaeological remains.
Project lead and senior ecologist at Auckland Council Sarah Gibbs said plants planted by the local community group were being dug up, children had been falling into rabbit holes on the sports field breaking their legs and Māori archaeological assets were also being dug up.
Gibbs said if the team managed to eradicate all the rabbits in this area, they were hoping to expand to other problem areas.
But it is a challenging task.
"Well, you spend about 80 percent of your effort on the last 20 percent of whatever you're trying to eradicate when you're doing an eradication programme so they're down low, but it's not a success until we've actually got there."
The biggest barrier to them eradicating the pests is pet dumping.
Auckland Council principal biosecurity advisor Dr Imogen Bassett said pet rabbits were constantly dumped into parks around Auckland.
With Christmas round the corner Bassett said people should think twice before asking Santa to bring them a bunny.
"Sounds like a really cute idea at the time, but actually be really, really sure that the people you're giving it to are able to look after it for the duration of its lifetime."
She said there was a reason why the saying 'breeding like rabbits' exists.
"So one female rabbit can have up to 50 offspring in a year, so you might think it's just a small problem to just to dump your one rabbit but actually that can really quickly cause a... really big problem."
If anyone has a rabbit they genuinely cannot look after anymore, Auckland Council recommends taking it to a local rescue centre.