October 31, 2018
In this update you will find:
The total number of infected properties reported since the start of the response is 784.
New finds since last update by town/city/suburb – 8 new sites:
Private (629), public land (68), commercial (45), school (16), nursery (13), public conservation land (5), retailer (2), golf course (2), orchard (2), depot (1), cemetery (1).
Myrtles, are a type of evergreen tree or shrub common to New Zealand. These include native plants such as pōhutukawa, mānuka, kānuka, ramarama, rātā, and exotic plants like feijoa, eucalypts, bottlebrush, guavas, willow myrtle and lilly pilly (also known as monkey apple). They can be very hard to identify.
We've put together a handy ID guide that shows photos of the most common myrtles in New Zealand. You can use this to identify whether you have a myrtle in your backyard or along your walking track and then monitor the plant for myrtle rust.
Some other handy resources include:
DOC is putting immediate restrictions on all beehive movements in specific areas on Public Conservation Land (PCL) in a bid to contain the spread of the fungal disease myrtle rust. The decision comes after research from Plant and Food indicates bees may be a vector for the spread of myrtle rust, which can damage and kill some plants in the myrtle family.
DOC’s Director for Permissions Planning and Land, Marie Long, says DOC is concerned about the potential for honeybees to spread myrtle rust to unaffected areas of conservation land, so has restricted the movement of beehives.
“Myrtle rust is a threat to plants such as mānuka, kānuka, rātā and pōhutukawa. These plants are vital for healthy ecosystems, but also the beekeeping industry.”
Beehive concessionaires have been informed that:
DOC is also advocating for more research into myrtle rust and bees to increase the knowledge around the role honeybees play in transferring the fungal disease.