10 Feb 2014

Kiwifruit pest found on Italian imports

7:33 am on 10 February 2014

A pest which could do serious damage to kiwifruit orchards has been discovered on fruit imported from Italy.

The Kiwifruit Vine Health organisation says a scientist from Plant and Food Research spotted white peach scale on kiwifruit at a Tauranga supermarket last week.

Kiwifruit on a vine.

Photo: PHOTO NZ

The Ministry for Primary Industries inspected the fruit and found the armoured insects were non-viable and don't pose a threat to the local industry.

But Kiwifruit Vine Health chief executive Barry O'Neill has asked for increased vigilance.

He says the organisation will work with MPI to ensure the risks are being managed and it's asked MPI to contact the Italian authorities to ensure they are more vigilant.

Mr O'Neill says MPI has also notified its staff at the border to closely inspect any kiwifruit arriving from Italy to ensure they don't have any scale on them.