Myrtle Rust (MR) Stakeholder Updates from Ministry of Primary Industries

Myrtle Rust (MR) Stakeholder Update – 29th August 2018

Myrtle Rust (MR) Stakeholder Update – 26th July 2018

Myrtle Rust (MR) Stakeholder Update – 27th June 2018


6/4/18 from MPI: New approach to manage myrtle rust

The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation say the fight against the plant disease myrtle rust is changing gear, given the prevalence of the disease across susceptible parts of New Zealand.

Myrtle rust has now been confirmed in the Tasman region at the top of the South Island, which means the disease has been found across almost all regions identified as most vulnerable based on habitat suitability and wind patterns.

“When myrtle rust was first discovered on mainland New Zealand in May last year, we said it would be a challenging disease to contain and eradicate but we would give it a good crack,” says the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Myrtle Rust Response Spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie. “There has been an enormous operational effort over the last 11 months, but the windborne nature of the disease means that containment has not proved possible. We have signalled for a while the likely need to change gear from intensive surveillance and the removal and destruction of host plants, to one where we look to manage the disease over the long term.”

The fungus has been found in Tasman region on ramarama (Lophomyrtus) on a residential property in Collingwood in Golden Bay, and a commercial property at Pohara. In addition, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has confirmed infections on five properties at Omori on the south-western edge of Lake Taupo, which is also a new region for infection.

“We now have well over 540 infected sites across the North Island and now the top of the South,” says Dr Duthie. “Because of the windborne, pernicious nature of the disease, we have to anticipate that there are likely to be many more infected sites beyond these.”

Dr Duthie says the focus of efforts now had to be placed on a science programme designed to lift our understanding around the disease such as ways to treat myrtle rust, resistance and susceptibility, and to improve seed banking collection. 

“A second key focus has to be on working with communities across New Zealand to support regional efforts to combat myrtle rust. As we transition to long term management, MPI and the Department of Conservation (DOC) will be engaging with iwi and hapu, territorial authorities, the plant and nursery industries, and communities to support the development of regional programmes. This could include regional surveillance programmes, identification and protection strategies for taonga plants and special locations, advice to landowners, seed banking, and broad community engagement.”

As part of involving and informing communities at the grassroots, MPI and DOC will hold hui with iwi and councils in affected regions over the coming months.

“We think this regional and community effort is really important. One of the most critical things is for people to continue to report suspected infections. We need to keep tracking the spread of the disease so we can better understand how it might behave in New Zealand and what its long-term impacts might be. This will help us to understand resistance of native species and will be vital to our myrtle rust science programme.”

More than 540 properties are known to have been infected by the fungal disease since it was first detected on mainland New Zealand in mid-May 2017. Since then, more than 5000 myrtle plants have been securely removed and destroyed, and more than 95,000 myrtle plants inspected. 

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report any possible cases to the Biosecurity Hotline – 0800 80 99 66.

DOC will continue to focus on seed collection to secure the long-term future of native myrtle plants and monitoring biodiversity impacts to inform science and management actions. It will also continue efforts to protect sites of high ecological and cultural significance.



Biosecurity News

  • 19 Apr 2018

    Biosecurity - TAG Update April 2018

    TAG has been working on three activities within the Biosecurity field; The fruit Fly Council, the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) process and the National Biosecurity Competency Network (NBCN).

    View Story
  • 19 Mar 2018

    MPI Update: Myrtle rust found in new region - Manawatu

    Myrtle rust has been detected in Manawatu for the first time, the Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed today. The fungus was found on a young ramarama (Lophomyrtus) in a planted area off Victoria Esplanade in Palmerston North.

    View Story
  • 10 Aug 2017

    Technical Advisory Group Update - August 2017

    United Fresh Technical Advisory Group members have attended several conferences as reported in this update.

    View Story
  • 10 Jul 2017

    MPI Update: Myrtle Rust (MR) Stakeholder Update – 10 July 2017 5:00pm

    For the latest update on Myrtle Rust visit here:

    View Story
  • 27 Jun 2017

    MPI Update: Myrtle Rust (MR) Stakeholder Update – 26 June 2017 5:00pm

    For the latest update on Myrtle Rust visit here:

    View Story
  • 20 Apr 2017

    Register Now – United Fresh AGM & Members' Meeting Thursday 22nd June at 3.30pm Auckland

    Join the United Fresh Executive and Members for our AGM and Members’ Meeting followed by refreshments, at Mantells on the Water in Auckland.

    View Story
  • 25 Nov 2016

    United Fresh Biosecurity Activity Update – November 2016

    The Biosecurity space is getting busy!

    View Story
  • 13 May 2016

    United Fresh AGM & Members Meeting 2016

    Our United Fresh AGM & Members meeting held in Auckland on Thursday 12th May 2016 was well received by around 80 of our members

    View Story
  • 09 Feb 2016

    MPI Media Release - No further Tau flies found and restrictions now lifted

    MPI Surveillance Manager Brendan Gould says two weeks of trapping, fruit sampling and testing have passed and no further Tau flies have been found.

    View Story
  • 01 Feb 2016

    MPI Update - Tau Fly Detection 2016 - Monday 1 February 2016

    No further Tau Flies have been detected. The total remains as 1 male Tau Fly detected.

    View Story
  • 25 Jan 2016

    MPI Update - Tau Fly Detection 2016 - Monday 25 January 2016

    No further Tau Flies have been detected. The total remains as 1 male Tau Fly detected.

    View Story
  • 22 Jan 2016

    MPI Notification of a Tau Fly Detection - Manurewa, South Auckland

    MPI will be establishing a Controlled Area this afternoon in Manurewa, South Auckland as a result of a single Tau fly detection.

    View Story
  • 04 Dec 2015

    MPI Announces Auckland Fruit Fly 2015 Response Closure

    With your support, the Queensland fruit fly is no longer residing in Auckland.

    View Story
  • 01 Dec 2015

    Queensland Fruit Fly December Update

    General Situation remains unchanged since the November update.

    View Story
  • 03 Nov 2015

    Queensland Fruit Fly November Update

    General Situation remains unchanged since the October update. No additional fruit flies have been detected since the last report.

    View Story
  • 30 Oct 2015

    Register for our United Fresh Biosecurity, Food Safety & Traceability Workshop – 17/11/2015

    We are pleased to present our Biosecurity, Food Safety & Traceability and Food Law Workshop in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

    View Story
  • 06 Oct 2015

    Biosecurity, Food Safety & Traceability Workshop

    United Fresh New Zealand Incorporated in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries invite members to attend a workshop on Biosecurity, Food Safety & Traceability and Food Law.

    View Story
  • 07 Jul 2015

    United Fresh Members Move Swiftly to Withdraw Mexican Grapes from Sale

    The precautionary measure of withdrawing Mexican grapes from sale has been taken by many retail outlets due to the discovery of Black Widow spiders among the shipment.

    View Story