The Red vented bulbul is an unwanted pest in New Zealand. While MPI has confirmed reports a number of these birds are present in the wider Auckland area, one was recently found in Te Puke.
An observant resident recognised its distinct bird call and immediately contacted the MPI exotic pest and disease hotline. A DOC ranger was subsequently deployed and was able to identify and destroy the bird.
Native to Pakistan and Southwest China, the Red vented Bulbul has established in a number of Pacific Islands. Evidence suggests they spread to new land masses on board sea vessels which may be how these birds have got here.
The Red-vented bulbul is an aggressive bird known to cause significant damage to fruit and vegetable crops and attack other birds.
Click here for a fact sheet where you can listen to its call.
If you think you have seen or heard the Red vented bulbul, or any other unusual pest or disease, please contact the MPI exotic pest and disease hotline on 0800 665 825.
The Hon David Carter visited KVH last week to get an overview on how the industry is managing Psa-V and to observe how prepared we are for a future biosecurity incursion.
David Carter was Minister of Biosecurity in 2010 when Psa-V arrived in New Zealand and supported the industry with $25 million of government funding, which was matched with industry funding, and enabled the industry to rapidly respond and begin the long road to recovery from Psa-V.
After being briefed on what KVH is doing to support the industry from biosecurity incursions, along with the current approach to Psa-V management, he visited an orchard to better understand the current state of the industry.
He was very complementary about how far the industry has progressed since 2010, and the work that is being done to protect the industry from biosecurity threats into the future.
Around this time each year a number of growers are trying to source kiwifruit plants at the last minute, which can be a difficult task as many nurseries have sold out.
KVH is aware of some nurseries that have plants remaining, therefore, growers looking for plants, or other nurseries with plants remaining, can contact KVH at email@example.com and we can endeavour to connect the parties.
Growers are advised to order plants a year in advance to prevent being caught in this situation.
The kiwifruit industry is funding a project that will provide tools to detect Pelargonium zonate spot virus (PZSV) should it arrive in New Zealand.
PZSV is one of only two viruses known to induce severe symptoms in kiwifruit. This virus is widely distributed in many species but has only been reported in kiwifruit in Italy. It has not been reported in New Zealand.
Permission is being sought from MPI to import freeze-dried tissue containing PZSV and its use as reference material (positive control) to evaluate a molecular test for detection of the virus. The test would be used for the benefit of the industry by testing incoming material and providing a tool for rapid testing should we be faced with an incursion of this organism.
Any risks involved in this would be very carefully managed.
Click here for a factsheet on the potential risks and how these will be managed.
Growers are reminded that unpicked kiwifruit must be removed from vines by 1 July.
Unpicked fruit can greatly exacerbate the amount of wild kiwifruit plants establishing in nearby areas of native bush or exotic forestry, as fruit ripening over winter months provides a food source for birds such as white-eyes.
Birds spread the seed through their droppings, together with a small fertiliser package, and a proportion of this seed can readily germinate.
Between 2002 and 2012 contractors controlled an average of 11,000 wild vines per year in the Bay of Plenty region.
Unmanaged kiwifruit vines, including those with unpicked fruit, may also be a potential host for plant disease organisms.
There may be an increased amount of unharvested kiwifruit this season if fruit fails to meet industry export standards.
Unpicked fruit needs to be dropped to the ground and mulched.
Under the National Psa-V Pest Management Plan (NPMP) it is a requirement to remove all unpicked fruit from vines by 1 July each year. After this date KVH will follow-up reports of orchards with unpicked fruit with the orchard owners and post-harvest companies.
Due to a decline in the industry’s demand for rapid Psa testing, Hill Laboratories have advised it is no longer providing Psa testing and results within 48 hours.
From 23 May 2016 they will run the Psa testing once a week—every Wednesday. Results will be reported the following day, providing no repeat testing is required. The testing cost will remain the same.
However, in cases where time is critical and there is a requirement to turn around a rapid result within 48 hours, they can provide this service with a 50% price increase.
Please note—any KVH-funded urgent testing will now need to be authorised by KVH prior to samples being submitted.
Some nurseries have contacted KVH looking for new sources of Bruno seed. Any growers who have Bruno vines, and are interested supplying nurseries, can contact KVH at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect the two parties.
The KVH Board is pleased to advise Graeme Marshall has been appointed as Independent Director, subject to KVH members approving Graeme’s formal appointment at the KVH AGM on 31 August. In the interim, Graeme will be attending KVH Board meetings as an observer.
Graeme’s appointment follows Peter Silcock’s resignation as Independent Director earlier this year.
Graeme has extensive experience in biosecurity and governance roles. He is Chairman of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee (BMAC), which provides advice to the Minister for Primary Industries on the effectiveness of NZ’s biosecurity system.
Graeme also spent 16 Years at Port of Tauranga where he held the role of Commercial Manager, responsible for the operations and business development of the Port.
KVH is very pleased to have someone of Graeme’s calibre for this specialised role and looks forward to his input and expertise at future Board meetings.
With autumn weather firmly settled in, reports of Psa-V symptoms are on the rise in some orchards. Mostly from sites where the disease has been challenging in the past.
On 9 May 2016 Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) signed the Operational Agreement (OA) for fruit flies on behalf of the kiwifruit industry—a significant milestone to further improve biosecurity readiness and response activities for fruit flies and the first such agreement under the Government Industry Agreements (GIA) partnership.
GIA partners, The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Pipfruit NZ, NZ Citrus Growers and NZ Avocados are also signatories of the OA.
The OA sets out the operational requirements for readiness and response activities for fruit flies and importantly, enables joint decision making and also clarifies cost-sharing arrangements between government and affected industries.
Under the OA, KVH and other parties will agree a work plan to improve readiness and response, including how we can detect fruit flies earlier and also reducing costs without reducing effectiveness.
Cost-sharing for fruit fly readiness and response activities commences when the OA comes into full effect in 2017. Once fully implemented, the Government will pay the first 20% of total costs on behalf of risk exacerbators. The remaining costs will then be shared by government and benefiting industries as follows:
The industry portion will then be divided among all benefiting industries based on industry value. For a fruit fly incursion, the kiwifruit industry currently represents about 48.5% of the value of all industries potentially affected by this organism, and therefore would pick up 48.5% of the total industry share.
Costs are limited by a fiscal cap which equates to about $3.12m for the collective industry share. The existing kiwifruit biosecurity levy paid by growers is sufficient to cover kiwifruit industry costs under the OA.
Industries that benefit from a response but haven’t signed up to GIA or the OA will still have to pay their share and the government will seek to recover costs from 1 July 2017.
Last week KVH hosted twenty-three visitors from MPI’s surveillance and incursion investigation teams from Wellington. The purpose of the visit was for MPI staff who are directly involved in incursion responses to gain both a better understanding of the kiwifruit industry and an overview of the work KVH is doing around biosecurity.
The group visited Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool to observe packing and coolstore operations; and Plant and Food Research where they were updated on kiwifruit research by Dr Stuart Kay.
After a busy morning in Te Puke they were presented with Zespri’s industry overview and future strategy by Carol Ward.
KVH highlighted its ongoing biosecurity initiatives and discussed partnerships with the regional councils, ports, freight and logistics sectors to raise biosecurity awareness amongst these sectors.
The tour also provided a good opportunity to discuss future possibilities about how industry and MPI can work together under GIA on biosecurity challenges.