Fighting threats to kiwifruit

Roger Smith (MPI), Adrian Gault (KVH Chairman), and Barry O’Neil (KVH CEO). Supplied photo.

Kiwifruit Vine Health Inc has signed an agreement with the Ministry for Primary Industries to help reduce the damaging impacts of the four most common biosecurity threats to the kiwifruit and kiwiberry sectors.

The operational agreement under the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response sets out the contractual arrangements of how industry and government will work together to manage potential pests.

KVH CEO Barry O'Neill says the agreement means the kiwifruit and kiwiberry sectors and MPI can work together to manage and help reduce the impact of a number of pest threats on the sector, which has exports of almost $2 billion per year.

"There are a number of biosecurity threats facing our industry. The Psa incursion which impacted us from 2010 cost the kiwifruit industry $1 billion. With the signing of this agreement we have committed to doing everything we can to stop another Psa-type event from occurring.”

The agreement establishes the operational details for readiness and response activities and cost-sharing arrangements, to deliver better biosecurity outcomes for the kiwifruit sector. It includes the roles and responsibilities of all the parties, including how joint activities will be cost shared. The GIA partnership currently has 14 partners from across government and the wider primary sector, who have agreed to work together to jointly manage biosecurity threats.

GIA Secretariat Manager Steve Rich says the agreement is ‘a positive step forward' for both government and the kiwifruit sector.

“This agreement provides a prime example of how biosecurity will come to be managed in New Zealand under GIA – with industry and the Crown working together to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

The agreement covers the four most common threats to the kiwifruit sector, and other pests and pathogens can be added to the agreement as they are identified. Signatories to the agreement include Kiwifruit Vine Health Inc (on behalf of the kiwifruit and kiwiberry sectors) and the Ministry for Primary Industries on behalf of the Crown).

The kiwifruit and kiwiberry sector operational agreement is the second of its kind. The first agreement was the multi-sector agreement for the management of fruit fly in New Zealand and agreements for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) are currently in development. Over time, further operational agreements for specific biosecurity threats, and sectors represented under GIA, will be executed between the partners to GIA.


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