NZ kiwifruit vine disease hits Auckland

Top Stories
NZ kiwifruit vine disease hits Auckland

New Zealand's kiwifruit disease problems have extended to south Auckland near the town of Pukekohe, after an orchard in the area tested positive to Psa-V.

The country's Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) released the provisional result which has led to a new Priority Zone for containment, while the body has also received Psa-V results from two more orchards in the area.

On the western side of the North Island, Pukekohe is isolated from the existing Priority Zones on the eastern coast.

KVH general manager John Burke said the result 'drives home' the point that all regions in New Zealand are at risk, so every grower and packhouse needs to continue doing everything possible to protect orchards.

Burke told Radio New Zealand that drier weather since the early October storm has led to a reduced infection rate. However, the windy weather is still conducive to the spread of the disease.

Prior to the confirmation, KVH announced the virulent strain of Psa was confirmed in more than 800 orchards, mostly in the Te Puke region. Burke said the Gold 16A variety 'definitely' did not have a future in the Psa-V environment and would need to eventually be replaced.

"However, there are encouraging signs that Hayward in Te Puke region is recovering from the October infection. Further time is required to determine this - weather will be an important factor," he said.v

"The new varieties G3 and G14 also appear to be exhibiting field tolerance to Psa-V that is consistent with their can bioassay ranking."

He said KVH has enlisted Lincoln University to prepare a Psa industry impact report, including a recovery pathway and cost-benefit analysis of assisted and unassisted scenarios. The report will also include an examination of the wider social and economic impacts, and is due for release in February, 2012.

Subscribe to our newsletter