[29 May/ NZ Herald]

Green Party Spokesman on Agriculture and Biosecurity, Steffan Browning, said the Ministry for Primary Industries had to use every effort to eradicate myrtle rust, as time to eradicate the pathogen before it became established was running out. The Green Party called for stricter controls on movement of plant material around sites in Northland and other regions infected with the rust. The only controls are currently on sites where the fungus had been confirmed or at nurseries that had traded with other nurseries known to be contaminated. MPI’s reluctance to stop plant movements in the wider area around myrtle rust finds could jeopardise native pōhutukawa, mānuka and rata, as well as the feijoa and honey industries. Questions left unanswered include the number of human-transferred contaminations, and how the rust first arrived.