Myrtle rust update

14 December 2017

There have been many new myrtle rust finds confirmed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) recently, bringing the total of infected sites up to 172 as at the last official update.

11 new sites have been confirmed in Auckland (largely around the Eastern Suburbs), a second site has been confirmed in Lower Hutt (close to the original site), three new sites were found in the Bay of Plenty, and one in the Waikato. There is now a total of 40 confirmed sites in the Bay of Plenty.

The first infection in feijoa plants has also been confirmed.

There are comprehensive information sheets available on the MPI website with specific advice for beekeepers, orchardists, nursery owners, and feijoa growers. All nurseries and suppliers should check and follow the NZPPI website for hygiene protocols for plants susceptible to myrtle rust.

Although myrtle rust doesn’t affect kiwifruit plants or vines, you may see it on other plants on your orchard or home garden. If you find it, don’t touch it – take a photo and call MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

A free app has also been created so people can quickly and easily let officials know if they suspect they’ve found symptoms. Myrtle Rust Reporter can be used for observing and mapping common host plants that may be susceptible to the fungus, getting assistance from others to confirm identifications, and making reports.