In August the EPA opened submissions for proposals to deregulate new organisms under Section 140 of the HSNO Act.
Section 140 addresses organisms that have arrived since 1998, that need to be reclassified if a self-sustaining population has established, and in particular are not subject to an eradication programme.
Some of those approved under this provision to date are pests – for example psyllids, bacteria, aphids, thrips and include the Varroa mite. In the case of our industry, a “new” pest plant that has established and where it is accepted that eradication and/or control is no longer feasible. would be considered.
However, organisms subject to S140 consideration need not be pests - the bridal creeper rust, Puccinia myrsiphylli, is not considered a pest and was deregulated to provide for people to distribute it around New Zealand to help control the environmental weed, bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides).
Section 140 can be also used to enable research on “pest” organisms, or provide for the legal propagation and relocation of desirable organisms.
Simply put it is intended to address those organisms that are new organisms (ie not present in NZ prior to 29 July 1998), but are now established in New Zealand.
Links on the EPA webpage, provide further detail and list the organisms deregulated under S140 in recent times.
Of note however, is that this EPA mechanism is not a substitute for ensuring that the Plants Biosecurity Index (PBI) truly reflects those plants that were present pre-1998.
Section 26 of the Act facilitates this and NZPPI is working with Murray Dawson and the RNZIH and their work compiling an application that may exten into some thousands of species. If you know of species that were present in New Zealand prior to 1998 and HSNO Act coming into force, please speak with John Liddle at NZPPI - firstname.lastname@example.org.