News

Myrtle rust science stocktake

February 04, 2020

A list of past and current research focused on biology, impacts and management of myrtle rust is now available on the Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho website.

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Latest information on myrtle rust infection across Aotearoa

February 03, 2020

To get a picture of myrtle rust infection across Aotearoa, follow the link to view Plant & Food’s nation-wide map.

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International journal highlights resistance research

February 03, 2020

Grant Smith, Plant and Food Principal Scientist/Program Leader has had an article published in American Phytopathological Society (APS) journal (Jan 2020) based on his MPI-funded research, which set out to identify resistance to myrtle rust in selected New Zealand native myrtle species.

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Myrtle Rust SSAG meeting – November 2019

January 16, 2020

It was agreed that Te Tira Whakamātaki, Māori Biosecurity Network will lead development of a national germplasm and seedbanking strategy, in partnership with the Department of Conservation which will coordinate the government’s work in this area. Pictured: Ken Hughey, Myrtle Rust SSAG Chair and Department of Conservation Chief Science Advisor.

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New practical resources

January 16, 2020

New resources on this website include practical advice for Kiwi home gardeners (when to prune, how to remove infected plants and when not to plant), and how to reduce the impacts of myrtle rust through plant selection. There's also info on Biosecurity New Zealand's role now it's no longer involved in long-term management of myrtle rust. (The Department of Conservation, councils and other agencies continue to be involved in long-term management - see the Auckland Botanical Garden's article below - 14 Jan).

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Stakeholders staying aligned

January 15, 2020

Finding ways to keep all organisations with an interest in myrtle rust stay connected was the focus of the first meeting of the new Myrtle Rust Stakeholder Group in November.

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On-the-ground work to safeguard myrtles

January 14, 2020

Bec Stanley, a Curator at Auckland Botanic Gardens and Chair of the Botanic Gardens Australia NZ outlines ongoing work to monitor for myrtle rust and collect seeds in order to safeguard Aotearoa’s myrtles. (Photo: Emma Bodley, Auckland Botanic Garden Conservation & Records Specialist hand pollinating Rata Moehau.)

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Impacts of myrtle rust in New Zealand since its arrival

January 10, 2020

This New Zealand Garden Journal article Impacts of myrtle rust in New Zealand since its arrival in 2017 (Dec 2019) provides a great summary of knowledge of myrtle rust in New Zealand to date. Written by Plant & Food’s Rob Beresford and a team of co-authors, it reviews information available since the disease was first found in New Zealand, including key research findings from the MPI-funded projects.

The article highlights how stakeholders across organisations are collaborating to safeguard and sustain New Zealand’s myrtles. Thanks to the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture for their kind permission to publish this article on www.myrtlerust.org.nz to help keep everyone interested in myrtle rust up to date with the latest news and information.

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New long-term monitoring form

January 07, 2020

A long-term monitoring form for myrtle rust has been developed and is available on www.myrtlerust.org.nz for surveillance in New Zealand. The form is designed to be used by a wide variety of groups who have some level of knowledge of myrtle rust symptoms and who will be monitoring symptoms on specific host trees or stands of trees over time.

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New investment in myrtle rust research

November 20, 2019

Four new projects are underway within Ngā Rākau Taketake that address key science priorites identified in the kauri dieback and myrtle rust strategic science plans:

  • Mātauranga Māori Surveillance Framework
  • Funding for urgent monitoring of myrtle rust this season
  • Te mauri o te rakau, te mauri o te ngahere, te mauri o te tangata (The life force of the trees, the life force of the forest, the life force of the people)
  • Tools for detection and management

There are opportunities to get involved. 

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