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Café Scientifique to discuss how to protect kiwifruit

July 21, 2014

Café Scientifique to discuss how to protect kiwifruit industry from biosecurity risks

Tauranga’s August Café Scientifique in Tauranga will look at the plans put in place to help overcome the impacts of Psa-V, including the research into more tolerant new kiwifruit varieties and implementation of orchard management practices.

Presenter Barry O’Neil, Chief Executive of Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), says while growers cannot eradicate Psa-V from their properties entirely, they are now in a much better space, thanks to higher returns, confidence in the new varieties, two good growing seasons and improved disease-management practices.

“Psa-V has opened the industry’s eyes to the devastating impacts biosecurity incursions can have. There is now heightened awareness of other high risk pests and diseases that could make it through New Zealand’s borders, such as fruit fly”, Mr O’Neil says.

Just over a year ago, Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) implemented the National Psa-V Pest Management Plan (NPMP) to ensure the entire New Zealand kiwifruit industry works collectively at a local, regional and national level.

Mr O'Neil is a biosecurity operational specialist who has worked in senior management and leadership roles as a consultant and with MAF Biosecurity NZ, in New Zealand and internationally. He led MAF's emergency response efforts into a number of incursions, including the initial MAF response work to Psa, and also owns a kiwifruit orchard in Katikati.

KVH is a grower-driven, pan-industry organisation established in December 2010 to lead the New Zealand kiwifruit industry response to the Psa incursion. In November 2012, it was tasked by the kiwifruit industry to manage the wider biosecurity readiness, response and operational role on behalf of the kiwifruit industry.

Café Scientifique is a forum for discussing science issues, where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The Café Scientifique series is organised by Julia and Warren Banks and supported by the University of Waikato. It aims to promote public engagement and make science accessible.

The next Café will take place on Monday 4 August, 6.30pm for 7.00pm start at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Entry is $5.00 and refreshments are provided. For more information please visit: or email


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