Myrtle rust

Myrtle rust is a serious fungal disease that affects plants in the myrtle family. Plants in this family include pōhutukawa and mānuka. The first detection of the disease in mainland New Zealand was at a Northland nursery in early May 2017. The disease is likely to affect some of our iconic native plants as well as commercially-grown species, and could potentially impact our honey industry.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is asking people not plant any members of the myrtaceae family this year.  The list of these plants is fairly extensive and is attached here for information.  People are asked to keep an eye out for any signs of myrtle rust; if you see it, don’t touch!  Ring MPIs hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

Further information is available from the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation.  

At SWDC parks and reserves, we’ll be revising our planting plans for this year to exclude myrtaceae (which will really limit our options!) and keeping a close eye on our parks and reserves.