Council and kiwifruit industry collaborate to control pest plant

A new agreement has confirmed a decade of action against the pest plant wild kiwifruit as part of the efforts to control its spread in the Bay of Plenty. Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) and Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) will continue to work together to jointly manage the pest plant, which can rapidly form a dense, heavy blanket of growth, smothering and eventually killing or toppling trees and shrubs beneath. It’s a significant threat to native bush and forestry. The kiwifruit industry, represented by KVH, has partnered with BOPRC in helping manage wild kiwifruit since 1998 and this agreement will ensure the work continues over the next 10 years and reflects the importance of continued collaboration between the Council, industry and landowners. Under the new agreement, KVH will manage the administration involved in the running of the programme while also contributing $150,000 annually towards control costs and surveillance costs. BOPRC will contribute $100,000 per annum and support KVH in gathering landowner contributions. Wild kiwifruit has been recognised as a pest in the Bay of Plenty since the late 1990s and infestations are generally found in the vicinity of kiwifruit orchards or where reject kiwifruit has been fed-out to livestock in the past. It’s a real biosecurity risk to New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry as wild vines can harbour Psa and other kiwifruit pests and diseases.