Plant Production Biosecurity Scheme

25 May 2018

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NZPPI’s working on developing a plant production biosecurity scheme and will shortly seek feedback on proposals

NZPPI expects to have Plant Production Biosecurity Scheme proposals ready for industry consultation and feedback early in June. You can read more about the PPBS here.

In June, we’ll host several meetings for industry members to gather and provide feedback so that the team can understand your thoughts about the proposed Scheme and collaborate with you to develop a common sense, workable solution. Please join us on:

  • 11 June – Christchurch, Antarctic Centre
  • 13 June – Auckland, Quality Hotel Lincoln Green
  • 14 June – Tauranga, Hotel Armitage
  • 19 June – Dunedin, Airport Conference Centre
  • 20 June – Nelson, Grand Mercure Monaco Resort
  • 21 June – Palmerston North, Awapuni Function Centre

All meetings run from 11am to 3pm and include a light lunch.
Please RSVP by 6 June to Frances Palmer,

We need your help to build a scheme which works and is workable; focuses on good generic biosecurity practice; reduces the risk of nurseries being infested by high-risk organisms and, in turn, spreading these through plant trade; and, ensures a plant producer is still able to safely grow and move plants around New Zealand.

The work to design the scheme has been supported by a research stocktake by Scion and Plant and Food Research. The aim of the stocktake is to support science-based design and provide evidence to inform biosecurity related nursery best practice. The report is available on the NZPPI website [REPORT]. As part of the stocktake, a web-based and searchable nursery production biosecurity database will be created, complete with abstracts and links to appropriate reference materials. We’ll bring you more details in the coming weeks and months.

Keep an eye on NZPPI’s website ( for further updates and contact Matt Dolan (027 6229255, or John Liddle (021 370168, for more information.

Background Information

Plant producers operate in an environment where they are exposed to significant and continual pest threats - not only from established pest species but also from new incursions. A 2015 publication addressing New Zealand pest management, concluded that “New Zealand is under increasing pressure from terrestrial and aquatic pests, weeds and diseases that threaten the country's ecosystems and economy. Ongoing improvement in existing pest management methodologies and novel approaches are required … Surveillance and pest monitoring are needed to increase the chances of early interception of invasive species or to confirm their eradication.”

We’ve experienced pest incursions in increasing numbers over the last 50 years as international trade and travel have grown. Phytophthora cinnamomi; Pythium and Fusarium species are ubiquitous, and like their international counterparts, New Zealand plant producers manage these, and other endemic pests, daily. We work hard to protect our plants, often committing a good deal of resource – time, effort and money - in the process.

The stakes increase considerably as we consider the threat from exotic pests and pathogens. In the last decade, incursions have occurred in other countries that have had devastating consequences over large areas. Significant exotic pests currently include Xylella fastidiosa, Ceratocystis fimbriata, Cryphonectria parasitica (Chestnut blight), Phytopthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death) and Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus (Citrus greening). These and others present a critical risk to plant producers, the environment, the horticultural industry and the economy.

Plant producers are at the frontline in the battle to improve pest management strategies. Our nurseries present a smorgasbord for pests and pathogens; we’ve thousands of plants, in many cases over a wide range of species, and in a juvenile state when they’re often most vulnerable. This provides both opportunity and threat - experience early in the myrtle rust response underscored the crucial role that plant producers play in early detection and slowing the spread following a pest incursion. It also underscored the threat that a pest incursion response poses to individual producers who have a pest detected on their nursery and the disruption that movement controls can have on the affected producer, their families and staff, local communities and other nearby producers.

Additionally, as we ship plants to our customers, our biosecurity hazards are readily spread. Whether our customers are nearby or further afield, our nursery stock distribution pathway has the potential for pests to be rapidly spread throughout New Zealand – and into the environments of our customers. These hazards can spread to:

  • food, wine and forestry production;
  • conservation, revegetation and restoration programmes;
  • landscape, amenity, retail and home garden markets; and
  • other producers.

If plantings into the natural and commercial environments increase as we anticipate they will over the next decade, so will the need for biosecurity vigilance. The impact of something going wrong and a nursery-borne pathogen being spread can be devastating.

Phytopthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death) was spread throughout the USA by asymptomatic Rhododendron stock from nurseries in California and Oregon. It caused only minor symptoms to Rhododendrons, but “Sudden Oak Death” caused high mortality in many other tree species. In California alone, over one million trees died as a result of this disease. The disease, and compulsory destruction of potentially exposed stock, has had a wide reaching economic impact on the nursery industry.

©2018 NZPPI
New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated
PO Box 3443, Wellington 6140
Level 5, 23 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington
P: 04 918 3511 | F: 04 499 9589
E: | W:





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