Myrtle rust menace edges closer to mainland NZ

A pathogen that could be deadly
to native plant life has been discovered
on New Zealand’s outer islands. Experts have grave concerns
after the discovery of myrtle rust, as while it could be detrimental
to native species, it also poses a huge threat
to the bio infrastructure. Hania Douglas explains. Our native plants could be
on the brink of extinction. Recently the pathogen myrtle rust
was found on Raoul Island. There are many theories
as to how the pathogen travels. If this does hit Northland
as some are predicting, we’ll lose our kahikatoa, we’ll lose
the ability to produce honey, jobs will be lost,
we’ll have no fire wood, we won’t be able to cook hangi
or smoke fish and tuna. All these things will be lost to us. But biosecurity expert
Thomas Malcolm says there is a bright side
to the discovery. The Department of Conservation
is still investigating the discovery which will help experts make a plan
to fight this threat. Hania Douglas, Te Karere.

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