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Kiwifruit's Most Unwanted

There are eight organisms identified as the biggest biosecurity threat to NZ's kiwifruit industry. This is based on the risk of them arriving in New Zealand and the consequence to the industry should this occur. These are 'Kiwifruit's Most Unwanted'.


Kiwifruit's Most Unwanted!

There are over fifty pests and pathogens identified as potential threats to the kiwifruit industry. KVH has developed a risk matrix to provide a structured and objective method of prioritising these organisms into a shorter list for the purpose of readiness and response planning. However, we recognise that the next biosecurity threat to challenge the industry may not be on this list and therefore readiness activities will not be limited to only these organisms.

The original version of this report was peer reviewed by MPI and Plant & Food Research. It is continually updated to reflect changes in the risk profile of pests and pathogens.

  • Click here to read the report (12.01.16)
  • Click here to view Kiwifruit's Most Unwanted pests and diseases (01.12.14)

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug


The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is the kiwifruit industry’s second-most ‘unwanted’ biosecurity threat after fruit flies; and the risk of it entering New Zealand is now considered extreme. The BMSB is able to hitchhike on inanimate objects such as cars and shipping containers. If it were to enter NZ it would have no problem establishing due to NZ’s highly suitable climate and abundance of host material. Its entry and establishment would result in significant production impacts to many horticultural industries.

The high risk and potential consequence of BMSB have made it a priority for biosecurity readiness activities for both MPI and KVH.

Updates on activities to mitigate the risk and associated consequence of BMSB can be found here:

Click here for BMSB kiwifruit impacts and on-orchard management (6.06.17)
Click here
for the MPI summary report for the 2016/17 season (16.05.17)
Click here to read a report on BMSB being detected in Chile for the first time (28.04.17)
Click here for the MPI risk management report (20.03.17)
Click here for the BMSB fact sheet (22.02.17)

KVH issues BMSB risk updates, based on data and information from MPI:

Click here to read the April 2017 update.

Check out this video from the USA, where the ever-expanding BMSB population is taking over lifestyles. Share this video with your friends and family as everyone will be affected by this pest if it was to establish in New Zealand.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has also released a video featuring Ruud 'Bug Man' Kleinpaste explaining why brown marmorated stink bugs will be so bad for New Zealand if they get established. 

Ceratocystis fimbriata 

Ceratocystis fimbriata is a soil-borne fungal pathogen that is causing significant damage to kiwifruit orchards in Brazil. The first reports of a wilt disease in kiwifruit in Brazil appeared in 2010. In the following years, significant vine losses have occurred, with some orchards losing 20–40% of vines. There are no efficacious control options available, and once the soil is contaminated, the replanting or re-grafting of new kiwifruit is not sustainable as the new vine will become infected. This pathogen is considered a serious biosecurity threat.

Ceratocystis fimbriata Research
KVH and Zespri are funding a number of research programmes to better understand this pathogen and reduce the likelihood and consequence of impacts to the New Zealand industry

1. Literature review on the threat to kiwifruit production

2. A report following a visit to Brazil to investigate Ceratocystis fimbriata

3. Pathogenicity screening of isolates on kiwifruit cultivars

4. Sequencing

Research proposals are currently being considered to sequence a number of ceratocystis strains, including the kiwifruit and sweet potato strains. This knowledge would significantly advance our knowledge of the pathogen and enable primers to be developed for rapid and accurate detection.

Fruit fly

Fruit flies are the kiwifruit industry's most 'unwanted' biosecurity threat. Any incursion can severely impact where we sell our fruit. The Queensland Fruit Fly, native to Australia (our closest neighbour), is considered to be the greatest threat and has the most market impacts.

The high risk period for fruit flies is September to June.

Updates on activities to mitigate the risk and associated consequence of fruit fly can be found here:

Click here for the MPI summary report for the 2016/17 season (16.05.17)

KVH issues monthly fruit fly risk updates, based on data and information from MPI:

Click here to read the March 2017 update.
Click here to read the April 2017 update.

Financial impact of a fruit fly incursion into NZ

The financial impact of a fruit fly incursion to New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry is estimated to be between $2 million and $430 million. KVH has produced a short report summarising the financial impacts of different incursion scenarios based on previous fruit fly incursions in New Zealand and overseas and economic modelling by Underwood (2007).

Click here to view the report (18.03.14)

Importation of sterile Queensland Fruit Flies for research

Plant and Food Research were granted permission in mid-2015 to import sterile Queensland fruit flies into a New Zealand containment facility to develop new attractants for female and male flies.

This long term project will determine what the flies can smell and whether the odours can be used to improve the sensitivity of traps or increase the numbers of flies lured in. Three approaches are being used; odours based on host fruit, sex pheromones and bacteria.

This research is part of a larger collaborative approach with Australian organisations to manage and eradicate QFF populations. One of these collaborations is the SITPlus partnership, a five year $22 million R&D partnership using Sterile Insect Techniques (SIT).

Supporting these research activities, is SIT facility that can produce 50 million sterile QFF per week as an eradication tool for release in Australia or New Zealand should an established population ever become large enough for this to be required. Read more about the facility and project here.

KVH supports these research activities as an integral component of our readiness activities for the industry’s most unwanted biosecurity threat.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

Suite 3, Level 1, Customhouse Building
314 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui
(entrance cnr Totara and Rata Street)
PO Box 4246, Mount Maunganui, 3149
New Zealand

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591