Unfortunately, myrtle rust has been detected in a Taranaki nursery following the owner reporting suspicious rust-like symptoms on Lophomyrtus plants to MPI on Tuesday. The nursery was closed and plant movements halted. Tests overnight and this morning have confirmed the presence of myrtle rust. MPI's media release.
MPI are now implementing operational plans and response activities. These include investigating the scope of this detection, whether there is rust in nearby areas, and the tracing of plant movements and containment options.
No links are known, at present, between the Taranaki nursery and Kerikeri Plant Production, and this infection is possibly independent of the Kerikeri event.
NZPPI has offered its full support to the nursery owner and applauds his actions. He undertook an inspection upon receipt of NZPPI materials, and promptly reported his suspicions to MPI. This is exactly what we need and we’re thankful for his proactive approach.
Industry members are urged to stay vigilant, and proactively implement NZPPI’s myrtle rust protocols (developed with and approved by MPI). These include inspection, treatment, shipping and plant handling protocols available on NZPPI’s website – www.nzppi.co.nz/myrtlerust.
NZPPI is working in partnership with MPI on this response, with industry representatives on both the leadership team and technical advisory group for the response.
If you need more information, email or call John Liddle - firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 021 370 168.
If you think you have seen this fungus
call MPI’s Exotic Pests and Diseases hotline - 0800 80 99 66.
Take a photo - do not attempt to touch or collect samples as this may increase the spread of this disease.