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Welcome overseas workers, not their hitchhiking mates
7 March 2019

As the kiwifruit industry gears up for harvest, and the corresponding annual influx of overseas workers, it’s time to consider the risk to the biosecurity of our industry presented by overseas workers - or more accurately - their clothing, footwear and tools.

There are many biosecurity threats present in other growing regions around the world that are not here in New Zealand, and which could have a devastating impact on our industry. The soil-borne Brazilian Wilt has caused up to 50% vine loss on Brazilian kiwifruit orchards over recent years and the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) continues to wreak havoc across Europe and the USA. Close to home, there have been several biosecurity investigations after detections of BMSB and fruit flies in Auckland, and a lone BMSB found in Mount Maunganui in December.

·        Make overseas workers aware of the need for excellent orchard hygiene.

·        Make sure they do not bring tools used overseas onto your orchard.

·        Check their footwear was cleaned and sanitised in their home country or at the border – don’t take any chances.  

It’s important that you don’t allow any imported fruit to come on to your orchard. If you see or hear of someone that has accidently bought fruit or vegetables into New Zealand make sure it is reported to Biosecurity New Zealand and then appropriately destroyed by being bagged and put in the rubbish, not composted.

To assist with this, KVH has developed a best practice poster to help reduce biosecurity risk from someone who has recently visited another country or worked on an offshore orchard or farm; showing what items need to be cleaned before packing luggage and why; and to explain what people can expect at border control when arriving in New Zealand.

You can download and print the poster, or contact KVH if you’d like us to print a larger size for you, your orchard, workplace or staffroom.

Keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms on your vines. If you observe any sudden vine wilt contact us immediately. We have great links to Biosecurity New Zealand and can quickly distinguish the unusual from the ordinary. We are always keen to hear from anyone who may have concerns.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

25 Miro St
Mount Maunganui
Tauranga 3116

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591