23 Nov 2011

Possible spread of Psa to Pukekohe

7:11 am on 23 November 2011

Two kiwifruit orchards near Pukekohe, south of Auckland, have tested positive for the vine-killing disease Psa-V.

The organisation responsible for managing the disease, Kiwifruit Vine Heath, says follow up tests are now underway and those results are expected by the end of the week.

If confirmed, it would be the first case of Psa-V outside the main kiwifruit growing area of Bay of Plenty.

In October, an orchard in Kerikeri showed up positive for Psa-V but a follow up test gave the orchard the all clear.

Kiwifruit Vine Health general manager John Burke says, given the distance from Bay of Plenty, the cause of the spread would likely be plant movement.

A priority zone has been set up around the two orchards, both of which are in the Franklin region.