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Rotorua MP Todd McClay says Myrtle Rust doesn’t affect kiwifruit or avocado plants and he has been given assurances by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy that MPI will do everything it can to manage the wind-borne fungus in the Bay of Plenty.

“It is business as usual for kiwifruit growers who have recovered so well from PSA, but I recognise there will be some uncertainty for others including the Manuka Honey sector,” Mr McClay says.

“It’s obviously very disappointing that this wind-borne fungus has spread to the Bay of Plenty, but MPI will do everything within their power to manage this infection.

The infection was identified in residential garden in Te Puke and Mr McClay says the fast diagnosis by the property owner will help efforts to contain the infection.

“I want to recognise that the property owner has done the right thing in identifying Myrtle Rust and promptly reporting the infection to MPI,” Mr McClay says. 

“The faster MPI know about these infections the greater the chance it has of limiting its spread.”

“We saw during the PSA outbreak just how resilient our growers and communities can be. I would again urge local people to show the same vigilance with Myrtle Rust and report any concerns as quickly as possible to MPI’s Biosecurity hotline on 0800 80 99 66.”

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