Wild kiwifruit

KVH works collaboratively with regional councils and landowners to manage wild kiwifruit populations and unmanaged orchards to reduce biosecurity risk to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry

In October 2020, KVH and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) signed an agreement to continue to work together to manage this pest plant over the next 10 years. Under the new agreement, KVH will manage the administration involved in the running of the programme while also contributing $150,000 annually towards control costs and surveillance costs. BOPRC will contribute $100,000 per annum and support KVH in gathering landowner contributions.

KVH has also partnered with Zespri and the Kiwifruit Breeding Centre. Through their significant contributions, the programme has been able to expand and control wild kiwifruit infestations previously left unchecked.

If you know the location of any unrecorded wild kiwifruit infestations, contact your local regional council or unitary authority with details so the infestation can be assessed and programmed for control.

Why control the wild population? The reason wild kiwifruit vines are a biosecurity risk to New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry is that they act as a vector for Psa and other kiwifruit pests and diseases. The wild population can act as a reservoir for biosecurity threats, undermining eradication, and control efforts on commercially productive vines.

They are also a threat to our environment. Wild kiwifruit vines are vigorous climbers, and if left uncontrolled, it can form dense heavy blankets of vines that strangle trees, causing them to die or collapse. Vines can also smother forestry plantations and New Zealand’s native bush.

download kvh's good practice guidelines for wild kiwifruit vine control here

How to prevent wild kiwifruit establishing

Remove unpicked fruit from vines and mulch as soon as possible. This prevents mass feeding by birds and allows the fruit to compost as quickly as possible.

Cover bins of reject fruit to prevent birds feeding on ripening fruit.

Cover stockpiles of fruit with shade cloth, windbreak netting or something similar to prevent birds from getting to any fruit. Feed out only what will be eaten by stock at one time to prevent birds from eating leftovers.

Be very careful with the disposal of kiwifruit, particularly while out in the bush.

Vigilant Gel applied to the top and sides of a wild kiwifruit stump

Cut vines at ground level. Apply Vigilant Gel® herbicide to the top and sides of the cut stump or any exposed roots. Ring-bark stumps or large roots with a machete or pruning saw to assist absorption of the herbicide gel. Carefully trace all vine stems to find where they may have taken root. Cut any rooted stems at ground level and apply Vigilant Gel®. Never apply Vigilant Gel to stumps within a kiwifruit orchard. For controlling kiwifruit stumps within an orchard, please refer here.