27 Sep 2011

NZ climate expected to thwart new termite

10:11 pm on 27 September 2011

A new termite discovered in a Kapiti Coast house should not cause problems thanks to New Zealand's climate, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says.

The West Indian drywood termite was found in a Waikanae house after going undetected for 10 years when the occupants moved back from South America.

The termite is native to South and Central America and has been described by the state government in Queensland as the world's most destructive drywood termite.

But MAF is playing down the potential risk, saying the cold winters om New Zealand do not provide the termite population with the right conditions to balloon.

Biosecurity response manager Glen Neal says up to six colonies have been detected in the house, mostly in furniture which came from South America a decade ago.

Mr Neale says only one colony has been found living in furniture sourced from elsewhere.