Biosecurity

More action needed to combat rust spread – MP

[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...

Myrtle rust infection spreads to King Country

 [23 May/ Radio New Zealand] The new arrived Myrtle Rust fungus has now been identified at a nursery in Te Kuiti in the King Country according to the Ministry for Primary Industries.  The disease was detected after MPI traced the sale of plants from another infected nursery.  Restrictions have been placed on the property and...

Myrtle Rust: ‘It’s not too late to eradicate’

 [21 May/ Radio NZ] The Director of New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, Andrea Byrom said it isn’t too late to eradicate the myrtle rust disease, however, the time window is gradually getting shorter. The pathogen can kill Pōhutukawa, feijoa and rātā, amongst other plants. Three more sites in Taranaki were confirmed to have...

Iwi and beekeepers ‘in the dark’ over myrtle rust

 [9 May/ Radio New Zealand] Beekeepers and iwi in Northland say they have been kept uninformed about myrtle rust, an air-borne plant disease that could devastate the region’s honey industry. Myrtle rust was found in a nursery in Kerikeri last week, and a second case was confirmed recently on the same street. The Ngati Hine...

Myrtle rust ‘incredibly difficult to actually eradicate’

[5 May/ Radio New Zealand] Myrtle rust, a new plant disease, has been discovered in Northland and has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to New Zealand’s native trees and economic position. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has established a biosecurity operation in Kerikeri, after a nursery owner found the disease on his young...

Deadly myrtle rust rang alarm bells for nursery owner as soon as he saw it

[5 May/ Stuff] Kerikeri nursery owner Tom Lindesay discovered myrtle rust on his pohutukawa seedlings, causing his nursery to become the centre of an operation by biosecurity officials to contain the fungus. It is, however, likely that thousands or millions of the myrtle rust spores have been distributed by the wind. Mr Lindesay’s myrtle rust...

Fungi interest mushrooms as annual forays hit north’s forests

 [8 May/ New Zealand Herald] Scientists have begun their annual fungal foray in South Hokianga this year. The foray has taken place in different parts of New Zealand every year for the past three decades. Fungal foray Facilitator Tom Davies said the five-day foray would start on Monday with about 30 mycologists and amateurs participating....

Guava moth explosion devastating Auckland’s feijoas

 [26 April/ Radio New Zealand] Auckland Council’s biosecurity team has reported an explosion of the guava moth this year which is attacking feijoa trees across the region.  The guava moth is not a new pest – having first been found in Northland in 1997 and it is now established in pockets in Auckland and further...

Thailand sends first cooked duck to New Zealand

 [12 April/ Global Meat News] Charoen Pokphand Foods is the first Thai food company to take advantage of New Zealand’s March 2017 policy change allowing imports of cooked Thai duck for the first time. The company expects export value for duck products to increase by up to 25 percent this year, in part due to...

TBfree investment now paying off for farm areas

[20 March/ New Zealand Herald] With the goal of full eradication of bovine TB from New Zealand by 2055 in sight, the farming industry’s investment in TB eradication is paying off as programme managers lift restrictions on stock movements in formerly sensitive areas, and adjust the requirements for time-consuming TB testing. These changes will affect 2.3...

Red-clover casebearer moth found in Canterbury

[3 March/ Stuff] The red clover casebearer moth has been found in two clover crops in Mid Canterbury. In Canada, the moth is considered a severe pest, and is considered an infrequent pest in Europe. The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) are unsure of the moths effect on clover seed production, but has sent a...

Pest problems continue to plague native ecosystems – study

 [16 February/ Radio NZ Country] A new study has found that, globally, there are two new pest invasions every day. Professor of plant biosecurity at Lincoln University’s Bio-Protection Centre, Philip Hulme led a study with 44 international scientists which has linked human activities, particularly agricultural expansion, to pest increases. Professor Hulme expressed concern with the...

Bio-security systems under threat as trade increases

 [19 February/ Stuff] An increase in imports has increased the pressure for New Zealand’s bio-security system to eliminate pests. Recently in Christchurch, a huntsman spider was found after boxed clothing items from Australia landed in a sportswear store. Canterbury Museum spider expert and curator of natural history Cor Vink said that as imports increase, there...

European insects to be released to tame invasive weed

 [14 February/ Radio NZ Country] The challenges of managing Tutsan, an invasive weed that is a major issue on agricultural and conservation land in the Central North Island, will see the release of a moth and a beetle from Georgia to help kill the weed.  The Environmental Protection Authority approved the release and researchers have...

Feijoas under threat from crop-destroying moth

 [Biosecurity /Radio New Zealand News] A feijoa grower has found the crop-destroying guava moth breeding in the plant’s flowers.  The moth, which was first found in Northern New Zealand around 20 years ago, attacks the feijoa as it makes a pinprick hole as it burrows into the fruit, ruining the product.  Very little is known...

Big rise in black beetle numbers this summer

 [16 December/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] AgResearch Senior Scientist, Pip Gerard said climate change was to blame for an increase in the number of black beetles, with the population of the pest nearly doubling in Waikato this year. Mr Gerard explained that the rise in temperatures over the past few years was creating a more...

Potatoes NZ latest to join biosecurity agreement

[12 December/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Potatoes New Zealand has become the latest organisation to join 11 industry groups in a Government Industry Agreement to protect New Zealand’s borders from unwanted pests. Potatoes New Zealand Chairman, Stuart Wright said potato growers had experience of a pest incursion and wanted to have a say in pest...

Contaminated palm kernel importer’s identity remains hidden

 [30 November/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] The Ministry for Primary Industries has refused to release the name of the importer whose ship was denied entry into New Zealand. The ship was not allowed to unload 20,000 tonnes of palm kernel at Tauranga Port because it was considered a biosecurity risk. The Ministry for Primary Industries...

Fruit fly larvae intercepted at Wellington Airport

 [21 November/ Radio New Zealand News] Ministry for Primary Industries staff found four Queensland fruit fly larvae in a mandarin that arrived at Wellington Airport from Australia earlier this month. The fruit was detected in an X-ray scan of a passenger’s bag. The traveller was fined $400 for failing to declare a piece of fruit....

Forest industry fears emerging forest disease

 [18 November/ Rural News] Phytophthora ramorum, a disease devastating trees in the Western US and Europe, presents a major threat to the New Zealand forestry industry. The disease has been causing sudden deaths of oak trees in California and Oregon is just one of many pests and diseases threatening the industry according to the Forest...

Mobile app to combat noxious weed

 [28 October/ Dairy News] The University of Otago and MEA have made detecting the world’s worst weeds a much easier task with the launch of the Flora Finder – Weed app.  The app used visual recognition software to help users identify plants from photographs of their leaves. Otago Department of Botany Senior Lecturer, Janice Lord...

MPI ready to handle foot-and-mouth disease outbreak

 [21 October/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] ‘ Ministry for Primary Industries Acting Director of Investigations, Diagnostic Centres and Response, John Sanson said the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was prepared to manage a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak after a successful exercise was held on a Waikato farm. Mr Sanson explained that MPI had wanted to test...

MPI still investigating palm kernel shipment

[12 October/ Radio NZ Rural] Ministry for Primary Industries Border Clearance Services Director, Steve Gilbert said the shipment of palm kernel anchored off Tauranga was still being investigated after it arrived from an unapproved facility in Malaysia. Mr Gilbert said the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) had been in contact with Malaysian officials to determine...

Cruise ship biosecurity trials to begin

 [12 October/ Rural News] Ministry for Primary Industries Border Clearance Services Director, Steve Gilbert said a new accreditation scheme would be introduced to reduce the biosecurity risk posed by tourists arriving on cruise ships. Mr Gilbert explained that the scheme would involve collecting background information about vessel stores, as the biggest biosecurity risk was from...