Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Enter the Samurai

MEDIA RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2018

Enter the Samurai

The samurai wasp, an organism new to New Zealand, can now be used to fight any invasion by the brown marmorated stink bug, following a decision by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). This wasp is a natural enemy of the stink bug.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Council applied to the EPA for approval to release the new organism, saying the stink bug poses one of the highest risk biosecurity threats to New Zealand. It noted that if the stink bug successfully breaches our biosecurity system and establishes, it would be very hard to eradicate.

The Council includes groups representing the avocado, apple and pear, kiwifruit, tomato, vegetable, and wine industries, and the Ministry for Primary Industries. It noted that in the USA and Europe, the stink bug has caused severe economic damage to horticultural crops, and has invaded homes during the cold winter months.

After a public hearing and consideration of 69 submissions, 65 of which supported the application, the EPA has approved the application, subject to a range of controls. Only the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and its appointed agents may evoke the approval, as it is responsible for managing incursion responses and has the requisite expertise.

The samurai wasp may only be released in New Zealand after a stink bug invasion has been detected, and only at the location of the incursion. Before any conditional release is made MPI, in conjunction with the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Council, must submit a Response Readiness Plan to the EPA. This must provide verification of the incursion and how the conditions imposed for any release will be met. The plan must be reviewed and resubmitted within three years.

Any EPA approval to release the samurai wasp will expire after 10 years, but may be extended.

In considering the application, the EPA considered whether the samurai wasp might displace any native species or harm natural habitats. It also assessed the possibility of adverse effects on human health and safety, and on New Zealand’s genetic diversity.

The EPA heard from a number of grower organisations and individual growers about the potential impact the brown marmorated stink bug might have on their industries and livelihoods. It noted that many horticultural industries rely on integrated pest management practice, or the use of softer chemicals for pest control

A broad incursion by the brown marmorated stink bug would lead to widespread use of broad-spectrum agrichemicals, which are likely to adversely affect sustainable practices and access to export markets, the EPA noted.

What we do: The EPA sets the rules for bringing new organisms into New Zealand under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, by assessing the environmental and economic risks and benefits to New Zealanders and the environment.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Industry Report: Growing Interactive Sector Wants Screen Grants

Introducing a coordinated plan that invests in emerging talent and allows interactive media to access existing screen industry programmes would create hundreds of hi-tech and creative industry jobs. More>>

ALSO:

Ground Rules: Government Moves To Protect Best Growing Land

“Continuing to grow food in the volumes and quality we have come to expect depends on the availability of land and the quality of the soil. Once productive land is built on, we can’t use it for food production, which is why we need to act now.” More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society: Calls For Overhaul Of Gene-Technology Regulations

An expert panel considering the implications of new technologies that allow much more controlled and precise ‘editing’ of genes, has concluded it’s time for an overhaul of the regulations and that there’s an urgent need for wide discussion and debate about gene editing... More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Card Spending Dips In July

Seasonally-adjusted electronic card spending dipped in July by 0.1 percent after being flat in June, according to Stats NZ. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent lift, according to the median in a Bloomberg poll. More>>

ALSO:

Product Stewardship: Govt Takes More Action To Reduce Waste

The Government is proposing a new way to deal with environmentally harmful products before they become waste, including plastic packing and bottles, as part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills. More>>

ALSO:

Earnings Update: Fonterra Sees Up To $675m Loss On Writedowns

“While the Co-op’s FY19 underlying earnings range is within the current guidance of 10-15 cents per share, when you take into consideration these likely write-downs, we expect to make a reported loss of $590-675 million this year, which is a 37 to 42 cent loss per share." More>>

ALSO: