Earlier today MPI issued a statement about the spread of Myrtle Rust into the West Auckland region.
This development is a significant event for our industry as the disease is now in an area of the country with a large concentration of nurseries.
Myrtle Rust may begin to spread into other regions over time, and businesses that grow or sell Myrtacea species need to now begin to prepare to respond to this crisis.
As the disease becomes established in more regions, MPI has indicated that it may change its approach to managing this disease. NZPPI will work closely with MPI to develop these management plans. It is possible that these may focus on a regional response and the use of plant protection practices within nurseries.
Following today’s announcement, all businesses that grow, distribute, or sell any Myrtacea species should begin to plan for the scenario that the disease affects their businesses, either directly or indirectly at some time in the future.
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.
What To Do
- Be aware of the location of new infection sites, particularly within 10km of your nursery. NZPPI can provide up to date information about these sites.
- Continue to implement the myrtle rust management protocols and support your staff to follow the practices, even if you are not affected at the moment.
- Plan for your first response in the event that you find Myrtle Rust in or near your nursery.
- Talk and share information with other nurseries and with your customers. It is important to build trust.
- Be prepared with accurate information for your customers and the public.
- Let NZPPI know what is happening and how we can help.
There is significant interest and concern about Myrtle Rust within the community. Plant producers and nurserymen have an important role to play in keeping the public informed with expertise and accurate information. Keep up to date via our newsletter updates and by checking the NZPPI website.
The NZPPI team has worked tirelessly throughout this year to help businesses that have been affected by Myrtle Rust. This work has been widely acknowledged as it has benefited the nursery industry and the community.
We are committed to continuing this work as the crisis develops. The spread of this disease may be out of our control, but there is still a lot that we can do to minimise its impact.
We need your support and commitment to enable us to do this.
If you grow or sell any of the Myrtacea species, and are not currently an NZPPI member, we ask that you take steps to join NZPPI now before you are affected.
Our goal is for a united industry that has the capability, industry support and funds to undertake the work that needs to be done. We can’t do this work on our own - we need your help and contribution.
Contact us for more information or check out our membership page here.