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Top Level Quarantine For Hawke’s Bay

3 May, 2001


HortResearch is preparing to open a new specialist quarantine and high health plant facility for temperate fruit crops at its new Hawke’s Bay site.

The level two and three facilities would handle the importation of plant material from other countries, and also be used to ensure that any germplasm HortResearch was sending overseas was virus free.

HortResearch is ideally placed to operate the facility, with top laboratories, and staff who are up with the latest in international pest and disease research.

Mary Horner, research associate at HortResearch Hawke’s Bay, said, “The quarantine facility came about through HortResearch’s needs to ensure that we have continuing access to overseas germplasm for our breeding programmes, and to ensure we have clean, healthy plant material to send overseas.”

A level two facility is already in place at Hawke’s Bay and caters for plant material that needs to be held for up to six months. The new glasshouse and laboratory would be a level three where plants are held for two to five years and tested for pests, diseases and viruses.

“We need a phytosanitary certificate to verify that our plant material has been proven free of diseases and viruses. Virus testing has to be carried out over two seasons and the plants usually have to be held in an area that is insect proof and in some cases also pollen proof. Then when we export plant material it does not need to go into quarantine for two to five years when it reaches its destination,” Ms Horner said.

HortResearch is in the process of gaining accreditation of laboratories and staff to carry out the quarantine work. Building of the glasshouse and laboratory will take place over the next six months, and once a protocol is in place MAF do spot checks. They also send samples to be checked to verify that staff can actually do the job.

Once accreditation is complete and the facility is up and running, as well as handling all HortResearch work, the facility would also be able to handle outside contracts.
___________________________________________________________________________

For more information contact:
Allan White or Mary Horner, HortResearch Hawke’s Bay. Tel 06 877 8196
Email: awhite@hortresearch.co.nz or mhorner@hortresearch.co.nz

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