ZB

Myrtle rust beginning to get out of MPI's hands

Author
Rosie Gordon,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Apr 2018, 6:25pm
Myrtle rust. (Photo/ NZ Herald)
Myrtle rust. (Photo/ NZ Herald)

Myrtle rust beginning to get out of MPI's hands

Author
Rosie Gordon,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Apr 2018, 6:25pm

The Ministry for Primary Industries is admitting there are parts of New Zealand where the spread of myrtle rust is out of control.

The plant disease has now been confirmed in the Tasman region and on the edge of Lake Taupo.

It's hasn't been able to contain the airborne plant disease and is now looking to manage it long term.

Response manager Dr Catherine Duthie says MPI is still trying to eliminate the disease locally in areas where there are a few injections - like the South Island.

"We are very concerned, and in some areas of New Zealand we may see the local extinction of vulnerable plants, which is why our scientists are working hard on looking at resistance."

Dr Duthie says the significant spread's forced MPI to change tact.

"We're going to be working closely with community groups and scientists to try and find some long-term management solutions to this disease."

The Ministry says there are well over 540 infected sites across the North Island and now it's in the top of the South Island - a number MPI anticipates will go up.