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Wild kiwifruit

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. 

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Wild kiwifruit

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.

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.


KVH investigates reports of unusual symptoms to identify and manage any biosecurity risks.

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06 Jun 2024

On the look-out for vine disorders

KVH follow-up of unusual symptoms including “sudden collapse of vines” during flowering or leading up to harvest, often identifies symptoms which have gone unnoticed for some time. Leader dieback; swellings at, above or below the graft; swelling at the trunk crown (base); or cracking, cankering, or swelling of leaders and trunks is often not noticed, as the focus in any production year is generally on the canopy, buds, flowers, and fruit rather than the architecture of vines. A perfect job for autumn and early winter is to complete a monitoring round to assess and act on vine symptoms that have crept in under the radar across the years and which are indicative of kiwifruit vine disorders. Mapping of symptomatic vines allows insight into areas where gaps are emerging, or canopies are becoming sparse due to a decline in vine health. Replacement strategies, such as replanting alongside affected plants or stringing of replacement canes from vines in adjacent rows will allow for the cut-out of infected vines without a significant drop in production. The earlier infected vines are removed the better, as spores from the fungal invaders can be harboured in fruiting bodies within the infected area and spread via soil, water, and air movements. Infections in leaders and canes can also be spread by unclean tools and infections in rootstock can travel across graft unions and impact on newly grafted cultivars. Research projects initiated through the Zespri Biosecurity Innovation portfolio have identified several fungal organisms associated with the various kiwifruit trunk disease symptoms and shown that disease complexes rather than single species are generally involved. Regular monitoring of sites is valuable as new growing situations can change the status of fungal diseases. Different cultivars and rootstock may be more susceptible, marginal growing areas, environmental factors, stressed and aging vines, different management practices (e.g. girdling) and build-up of site inoculum are all factors that can lead to a change in vine impacts. Annual review helps ensure orchards remain resilient and successful into the future. More information on vine decline and trunk diseases is available here and an image library of trunk symptoms to watch out for is available here. If you have unusual symptoms that need follow-up, contact [email protected]

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04 Jun 2024

Mystery Creek Fieldays – see you there

We look forward to seeing you at Fieldays next week. We’ll be in the Zespri tent as per previous years, taking part in midday presentations each day providing updates on our biosecurity activities and upcoming Biosecurity Symposium. Gates are open - and we’re on-site - daily from Wednesday to Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Fieldays website.

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04 Jun 2024

Upcoming KVH AGM

KVH’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place at 9am, Wednesday 21 August, at Mercury Baypark in Mount Maunganui. Growers will receive their AGM packs by email during the last week of July. This is a public meeting and anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. Special guest Dr Jacqueline Rowarth will be joining us to speak about precision breeding, followed by the NZKGI and then Zespri annual meetings.

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