Wild kiwifruitKVH works collaboratively with regional councils and landowners to manage wild kiwifruit populations and abandoned orchards to reduce biosecurity risk to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.
Wild kiwifruit can germinate wherever birds deposit kiwifruit seeds or wherever discarded fruit has been thrown or dumped. Birds love to feed on kiwifruit that's left out on vines, in reject bins or on paddocks for stock feed. They then spread the seed that grows into wild kiwifruit vines in areas of native bush, forestry blocks and near orchards or farms.
Wild kiwifruit is a real biosecurity risk to New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry as wild vines can harbor Psa and other kiwifruit pests and diseases. It can also smother areas of New Zealand’s native bush and forest. It’s important wild kiwifruit is reported so local regional councils or KVH can take appropriate action.
In October 2020, KVH and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council 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. Regional Council will contribute $100,000 per annum and support KVH in gathering landowner contributions.
Operational information and images of control efforts over the years can be viewed here.
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.
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.
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.