With Myrtle rust now well and truly established in NZ, NZPPI is continuing to work with the government and other sectors to develop a long-term strategy for the disease.
This effort just got a massive boost with $17 million in funding being allocated to research into the disease and to develop management tools.
Myrtle rust has spread across a large portion of the country over the past 2 years, but based on overseas experience, scientists are expecting the real damage to increase in the future as the disease intensifies in some regions and begins to affect plant growth and flowering.
The funding will enable us to understand the specific conditions under which myrtle rust spreads and develops, which species are susceptible and to develop the management tools that will enable nurseries and land managers to manage the disease.
NZPPI sits on the governance group that is overseeing the development of the long-term strategy for myrtle rust. Our involvement in this group means that you have a say in the future management of this disease.
NZPPI made a submission on MPI’s proposal to develop a management plan for Kauri dieback.
Our submission supported the Government’s proposal to develop a management plan for this devastating disease, but we stated that the plan needs to include industry.
Our proposal is that the industry biosecurity scheme (PPBS) is recognised as the management plan for nurseries and that government avoids developing a separate plan.
NZPPI’s submission is available on our website here
Plant Variety Act review
MBIE have initiated a consultation process for the review of the Plant Variety Rights Act which is planned for 2019.
NZPPI is working with MBIE in Wellington to work through the implications of this review for members that own plant variety rights, or that propagate and sell PVR material.
NZPPI will make a submission on the proposals by 21 December.
NZPPI continues to challenge MPI over emergency measures put in place requiring regular testing of imported flower and vegetable seeds.
These testing procedures were imposed almost two years ago in response to some seed lines being identified with contamination.
NZPPI believes that the issues with contaminated seed have been addressed within the supply chain and we are questioning the need for ongoing testing at the current sampling rate.
After testing over 500,000 seeds we are not aware of any high risk weed seeds that have been found in any of the samples taken.
We absolutely support MPI’s work to manage biosecurity, but we believe that there are far better ways to manage the risk of contamination in seed through good management practices, rather than simply testing.