Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Kauri dieback and myrtle rust research to be accelerated

Media Advisory
Tuesday, 20 November 2018


The New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge is focused on making significant and rapid progress in the fight against myrtle rust and kauri dieback following new government investment announced today.

Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced a funding increase of $13.75 million over three years from the Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF) for research to combat the spread of kauri dieback and myrtle rust. The BioHeritage Challenge is developing the platform plan for the SSIF.

Kauri dieback is threatening Aotearoa New Zealand’s taonga (treasured) kauri with extinction and myrtle rust is threatening many iconic native species. More knowledge is urgently needed to underpin future approaches and tools to fight the two pathogens.

The new investment will be used to focus and accelerate the work already being done by Government agencies, councils, research providers, Māori and interest groups. A high-level strategy is currently being developed by the BioHeritage Challenge.

The strategy will align with BioHeritage’s three big goals – whakamana, tiaki, whakahou (empower, protect, restore) – and the research priorities already identified by the kauri dieback and myrtle rust Strategic Science Advisory Groups (SSAGs).

BioHeritage Kaihautū Dr Nick Waipara, of Plant & Food Research, says a core group of people with diverse expertise is being brought together to develop the strategy and subsequent workplan.

“While details are still being confirmed, it’s our intention to work closely with all key players as the strategy is developed. There has already been a lot of careful thinking about research needs in these areas and it’s our intention to build on this – not start from scratch.”

Nick says kauri dieback and myrtle rust are critical threats to New Zealand’s environment and the team is acutely aware of how urgently something needs to be done to stop the diseases spreading.

“The investment will be used to ensure those working on fighting these pathogens are even more connected – accelerating the work being done in this area.

“Connecting experts from diverse institutions is what National Science Challenges are all about – we independently focus collective thinking on nationally significant problems such as kauri dieback and myrtle rust. An integral part of this is to work closely in partnership with Māori.

“While we’re realistic about what can be achieved in three years, we feel confident that our collective approach will help make a big difference for Aotearoa.”

[ends]


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Budget Policy Statement: 'Wellbeing Of NZers At The Heart Of Budget Priorities'

“We want a wellbeing focus to drive the decisions we make about Government policies and Budget initiatives. This means looking beyond traditional measures - such as GDP - to a wider set of indicators of success,” Grant Robertson said. More>>

ALSO:

Short Of 2017 Record: Insurers Pay $226m Over Extreme Weather

Insurers have spent more than $226 million this year helping customers recover from extreme weather, according to data from the Insurance Council of NZ (ICNZ). More>>

Environment Commissioner: Transparent Overseer Needed To Regulate Water Quality

Overseer was originally developed as a farm management tool to calculate nutrient loss but is increasingly being used by councils in regulation... “Confidence in Overseer can only be improved by opening up its workings to greater scrutiny.” More>>

ALSO:

Deal Now Reached: Air NZ Workers Vote To Strike

Last week union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in response to the company’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime. More>>

ALSO: