Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Australian gum leaf skeletoniser response

Australian gum leaf skeletoniser response enters busy week

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is taking the advice of the consultative group it convened in Auckland just over two weeks ago and will “keep its options open” before deciding whether the gum leaf skeletoniser (Uraba lugens) can be eradicated or not.

“Since we received the surveillance report showing this unwanted pest was being detected on eucalypt trees over a wide area of southern Auckland we have initiated a whole suite of work, both operational and scientific, to ensure we can keep on top of this pest,” said Peter Thomson, MAF’s Director of Forest Biosecurity.

“We have retained eradication as a possible goal. Is eradication feasible? We don’t know that yet. Is it affordable? We don’t know that yet either. The pest has spread over a large area. We can’t mount a major eradication campaign lightly. During this time of year, when the moth is less active, we need to be getting our response on to a firm footing.”

“The planning phase of a biosecurity response is of the utmost importance – we need to take the time to gather an adequate amount of information to base our decision making on.

“Impact assessments take time, we need a few months to complete host testing on native tree species and we have to get more information from the science team to determine likely rate of spread. Having said that we are also going to do everything we possibly can ‘on the ground’ to ensure that we don’t lose the prospect of getting rid of the gum leaf skeletoniser. Right now, our aim is to contain it to its current location.”

“No new sites have been reported since 7 March, which is good news. Ground spraying of outlying infested trees in public places has been completed.”

“This week will be our busiest yet. A further delimiting survey out to 100km is scheduled to be completed, more intensive host tree identification within South Auckland will commence, an interim operational headquarters is being established and field testing of a new pheromone for an extensive trapping grid will continue.

A meeting with staff from Auckland councils is also scheduled for this week. “We’ll be talking with them about future ground spraying and removal of problem trees, and establishing a collaborative course of action for the late autumn, winter months and early spring months when the next generation of caterpillars will be active,” said Mr Thomson.

“MAF appreciates the support it is getting from councils and the opportunity this presents for keeping Aucklanders informed of the progress we are making in partnership with councils.

“While it will take time to answer all the questions we have, it is fair to say that we have made some significant and encouraging progress towards containing the gum leaf skeletoniser”.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news