Joint efforts underway after unwanted pest detected in Tauranga

31 March 2022

Biosecurity New Zealand is working with primary sector and Te Tiriti partners after fall armyworm eggs were found in Tauranga recently.

Kiwifruit is not known to be a host of this pest and therefore KVH, on behalf of the kiwifruit industry, will be an observer to activities in response to this detection, rather than a GIA partner who shares decision-making and costs.

Information about the work underway is available in detail on the Biosecurity New Zealand website, but essentially the egg mass was found attached to the outside of a gypsy moth surveillance trap in Tauranga’s CBD before being tested and then destroyed.

Although analysis last year showed the pest was unlikely to cause widespread biosecurity risk to New Zealand, Biosecurity New Zealand and industry partners are taking an appropriately cautious approach to the find and investigating further - we’ll keep you updated and provide more information as these efforts progress in the region.

This moth has been on New Zealand’s radar for some time, and Biosecurity New Zealand has worked closely with primary sector partners on keeping it out through things like importing requirements on risk goods, as well as encouraging growers to remain vigilant for signs of the pest. Be on the lookout and if you see it (or anything else unusual) please make a report to the hotline on 0800 80 99 66 or online.

For more information and images about the fall armyworm view or download the fact sheet here.