5 May 2017

Biosecurity op launched in Kerikeri over myrtle rust

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 5 May 2017

A full-on biosecurity operation is underway in Kerikeri after the discovery of the plant disease myrtle rust in a local nursery.

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Photo: RNZ/ Supplied

The pathogen has killed many native trees in Australia and could kill pohutukawa, rata and manuka in this country - as well as feijoas and guavas.

MPI's response director Geoff Gwyn says myrtle rust has never been eradicated successfully internationally but there are a lot of things they can do in the long term.

He says at the moment "we have a contained and isolated the find and we are throwing the kitchen sink at it."