Tougher stink bug measures

24 June 2021

In the wake of another successful stink bug season, enhancements to import rules are being considered that will make it harder for the invasive pest to establish in New Zealand.

Under proposed changes to the Biosecurity New Zealand import health standard for vehicles, machinery and parts, Poland will be added to the list of 37 risk countries. This will mean vehicle imports from Poland will need to undergo treatment or other approved measures before arriving in New Zealand. Poland is on the list because it is close to other European countries with established Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) populations. It also has a favourable climate for the bug.

Other proposed changes to the import health standard include:

  • Applying the management measures to all-terrain vehicles, golf carts, quad bikes, and side-by-side racers. These vehicles are currently excluded from the measures but are now believed to be potential hiding places for BMSB hitchhikers.
  • Excluding inflatable boats from the management requirements. These goods are generally imported deflated and packaged in a manner that greatly reduces the chance of stink bug contamination.

The proposed changes also clarify rules for vehicles, machinery or parts arriving in New Zealand using a combination of air and sea movements.

There was consideration about introducing new measures for vehicles, machinery, and parts from the United Kingdom. There were three reported BMSB detections in surveillance traps in this country over the past year, however, the detections were all single bugs close to airports and tourist attractions and there is no evidence to suggest the pest has established. New Zealand officials and Australian counterparts will continue to monitor the international situation and will act quickly to change import requirements if required.

KVH supports these proposed changes, and we believe they will strengthen detection and management of BMSB from the most high-risk goods and places. We have submitted our support to Biosecurity New Zealand on behalf of the kiwifruit industry and expect changes to be finalised by early August, which would allow time for those affected by changes to prepare for the start of the new high-risk season from 1 September.