Last Sunday the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed two weeks of trapping, fruit sampling and testing had passed without any further Tau flies being found and the movement restrictions on fruit and vegetables in the controlled area were subsequently lifted.
While the response operation is now over and New Zealand is officially Tau fly-free, MPI’s routine checks for fruit flies will continue with its nationwide network of 7,600 fruit fly surveillance traps.
Summer is high-risk season for fruit flies and other pests coming into New Zealand, so growers and residents are reminded to be vigilant. Report anything of concern, particularly insects or larvae in fruit, to MPI’s pest and disease hotline – 0800 80 99 66.
The sale of kiwifruit plant material through Trade Me is a known risk of potential movement of diseased material, and one KVH has been monitoring for some time.
KVH has made Trade Me aware of these risks, and as a result they made the decision to place a complete ban on the sale of kiwifruit plant material; so the risk of moving diseased material through this channel is now eliminated. The ban includes the sale of kiwifruit plants, kiwifruit budwood, kiwifruit pollen and kiwifruit firewood.
Trade Me is implementing this action in the coming weeks.
In September last year KVH distributed a fact sheet through the KVH Bulletin about plant virus Betaflexiviridae being detected in New Zealand kiwifruit vines. There are no symptoms or disease associated with this virus and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) consider it to be low-to-zero biosecurity risk.
However, there is a possibility that impacts may exist and have not been observed, or may develop in the future. Therefore, as an industry we are taking a precautionary approach to managing Betaflexiviridae and have implemented management practices to further limit distribution of this virus.
This will include Plant and Food Research no longer supplying Bruno seed from their orchards. Nurseries have been informed of this change and we are not expecting plant supply issues as a result.
The KVH Board welcomes Richard Procter as the new Board Secretary from 15 February.
Most recently Richard held the position of Chief Executive of Kiwifruit New Zealand for 10 years, so many will be familiar with Richard and the knowledge of the industry he will bring into his role as Board Secretary.
Richard holds a Masters degree in Commerce, is a qualified Chartered Accountant (retired), and has had an extensive commercial career in accounting, finance, investment banking, business analysis and consultancy.
Richard replaces former Secretary Mike Chapman who resigned late last year following his appointment as Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand.
It is the height of stink bug season; so growers and residents are reminded to keep an eye out for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) which can enter New Zealand on inanimate objects like shipping containers, cars and even through objects bought through online channels like E-bay. Travellers returning to New Zealand are also at risk of importing the BMSB in their luggage.
Due to a rise in reporting of suspicious-looking stink bugs, there appears to be a heightened awareness amongst the industry and the general public about the BMSB. Thankfully these cases have been confirmed negative. However, it’s encouraging to know people are doing the right thing and contacting MPI when they find what appears to be a BMSB.
The BMSB is one of kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted – as both a horticultural pest and a public nuisance. Eradication would be extremely difficult if it were to establish here so early detection is essential to keeping it out of New Zealand.
If you think you have seen a BMSB call the MPI Pest and Disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.