Bus and Coach Association Notifications

Myrtle Rust: Update

Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Please click here to see the latest update on Myrtle Rust dated: 17 May 2017.  (This is also attached below.)

The BCA has been alerted to a biosecurty alert from the Department of Conservation. Please read the below information. This is a general alert for all members but there is some specific information directed to those with current permits to carry out activities on Public Conservation Land in the Bay of Islands. 

You may already be aware that myrtle rust has been detected for the first time on mainland New Zealand in a Kerikeri plant nursery, Kerikeri Plant Production.  The detection and reporting of the rust to MPI, was due to the vigilance of the nursery owner, who should be congratulated for this.

A response is now underway and is led by MPI with DOC in support.

The affected nursery has already been sprayed with a fungicide and DOC staff are working out from there, in a methodical manner, searching myrtle species trees in the wider area for signs of the disease. Myrtle species trees include: pohutukawa, rata, manuka, kanuka, eucalyptus and feijoa. We are also tracing where materials from the nursery have gone, and DOC is conducting inspections of myrtle species on public conservation land in Te Taitokerau for any early signs of the fungus. In addition, MPI is monitoring for rust at 800 monitoring sites across the country and key partners in biosecurity have been notified about the suspected incursion - including local iwi, potentially affected industries, and the regional council. They are helping to get the word out.

In terms of support we ask you when you are in the Bay of Islands to be alert for signs of myrtle rust on any potentially affected species (see list attached) .  It first appears as purple spots, then bright yellow/orange powdery patches on leaves of myrtle species plants and affected leaves may buckle or die off. A photo gallery of the stages of myrtle rust on leaves is attached as is a factsheet from MPI.

If you believe you may have found Myrtle rust do not touch it or try to take a sample. Take a photo, including the affected plant, make a note or GPS its location and contact MPI on 0800 80 99 66. 

Full information on myrtle rust is on both the MPI and DOC websites: 

We will keep you updated as the situation evolves.
In the meantime, DOC staff in the Bay of Islands are fully engaged in the response to myrtle rust. DoC sends their apologies, but this may mean that for the next few days at least, there may be a delay in responding to any other issues.

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