Samurai submissions publicly available
Views that were put forward on the application to introduce the Samurai Wasp into New Zealand - in the event of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) incursion - have been released and can be read online.
The submissions made to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) are from a wide ranging group of people and organisations from across the horticultural system and are generally in support of the application. The kiwifruit industry is well represented with views presented from KVH, Zespri, NZKGI, ISG (Kiwifruit Industry Supply Group), Maori Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, post-harvest and many growers. This is an excellent effort and we thank all those who have contributed in this process.
The EPA has also released their staff assessment report, which recommends the decision-making group approve the application and grants a conditional release approval with controls. The controls are designed to manage the use of the Samurai Wasp, specify when the organism can be released, and who may use the approval and state for example that the wasp can only be released when a BMSB incursion is detected, and only at the location of the incursion.
The next step in the process is a hearing where those who made submissions and indicated they were interested in presenting their case publicly can do so. KVH will be speaking at the hearing, currently scheduled to run over two days in mid-July. From there, the decision-making group will consider the application (not open to the public) and a decision is expected by mid-August.
The application was made to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) by KVH, Horticulture NZ and other horticultural industry groups through the BMSB Council as part of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA). The stink bug is one of the biggest biosecurity threats we face, and it could cause hundreds of millions of dollars of losses. The Samurai Wasp provides an opportunity to be proactive in our approach and gives us another tool we can use to control the stink bug. Read more about the application on the KVH website.