The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) severely restricted forest ecosystems on New Zealand’s South Island, but the extent of LGM distribution for forest species is still poorly understood. We used mitochondrial DNA phylogeography (COI) and ecological niche modelling (ENM) to identify LGM refugia for the mycophagous beetle Agyrtodes labralis (Leiodidae), a forest edge species widely distributed in the South Island. Both the phylogenetic analyses and the ENM indicate that A. labralis refuged in Kaikoura, Nelson, and along much of the South Island’s west coast. Phylogeography of this species indicates that recolonization of the largely deforested east and southeast South Island occurred in a west–east direction, with populations moving through the Southern Alps, and that the northern refugia participated little in interglacial population expansion. This contradicts published studies of other New Zealand species, in which recolonization occurs in a north–south fashion from many of the same refugia.