A stink over Welling­ton wine coun­try

HortNZ re­cently joined New Zealand Wine­grow­ers in a brown mar­morated stink bug (BMSB) re­sponse sim­u­la­tion.

NZ Grower - - Biosecurity -

Rais­ing aware­ness of the sig­nif­i­cant risk BMSB is to hor­ti­cul­ture in New Zealand is a re­spon­si­bil­ity shared be­tween the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) and in­dus­try groups who are part of the Gov­ern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ment (GIA) part­ner­ship. Un­der the GIA New Zealand Wine­grow­ers and HortNZ par­tic­i­pate in readi­ness and re­sponse ac­tiv­i­ties to pre­pare for the po­ten­tial ar­rival of BMSB, which in­cludes en­hanc­ing aware­ness of mem­bers. An ef­fec­tive way of do­ing this is to take stake­hold­ers through a re­sponse sim­u­la­tion to show what would hap­pen if BMSB were found in NZ.

At NZ Wine­grower’s an­nual con­fer­ence (Romeo Bra­gato) in late Au­gust HortNZ’s biose­cu­rity and trade pol­icy man­ager, Leanne Ste­wart, par­tic­i­pated in a BMSB re­sponse sim­u­la­tion de­signed by NZ Wine­grower’s biose­cu­rity and emer­gency re­sponse man­ager, Ed Massey. In the sim­u­lated gov­er­nance meet­ing, where rep­re­sen­ta­tives of GIA part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions share de­ci­sion­mak­ing, the con­fer­ence au­di­ence was taken through the process that would oc­cur dur­ing the early stages of a BMSB re­sponse.

Ed and Leanne were joined by MPI re­sponse man­ager Nicky Fitzgib­bon (who acted as in­ci­dent con­troller) and biose­cu­rity re­sponse team man­ager John Brightwell (act­ing as the MPI gov­er­nance rep­re­sen­ta­tive). Nicky led the gov­er­nance group through a fic­tional BMSB outbreak on a vine­yard in the Welling­ton re­gion and pre­sented re­sponse ac­tiv­i­ties for ap­proval. For the pur­poses of the sim­u­la­tion the re­sponse had just been stood up and these were some of the first de­ci­sions to be made by the gov­er­nance group.

The meet­ing started with the con­troller pre­sent­ing a sit­u­a­tional re­port out­lin­ing what had hap­pened so far and re­quest­ing ap­proval for an ac­tion plan to be­gin erad­i­ca­tion ac­tiv­i­ties. The con­troller took the group through the risks as­so­ci­ated with im­ple­men­ta­tion of the plan, in­clud­ing chem­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions, the lo­cal com­mu­nity (an or­ganic vine­yard and a school) and in­volve­ment of grow­ers in erad­i­ca­tion ef­forts.

As would hap­pen in real­ity, NZ Wine­grower’s and HortNZ ex­plored the risks and op­por­tu­ni­ties of MPI’s pro­posed plan be­fore ap­prov­ing the way for­ward. By work­ing to­gether

In real­ity ev­ery­one needs to play a part.

un­der GIA MPI and in­dus­try are able to make de­ci­sions to­gether in the best in­ter­ests of their mem­bers.

In real­ity ev­ery­one needs to play a part.

If BMSB were to be found in NZ a re­sponse would very quickly be stood up by GIA part­ners – it would be all hands on deck! As de­scribed HortNZ would par­tic­i­pate in the BMSB gov­er­nance group and also in op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties as a mem­ber of the Na­tional Biose­cu­rity Ca­pa­bil­ity Net­work.

BMSB is not cur­rently in NZ and HortNZ wants to keep it that way. It en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to keep a watch for BMSB, on plants and trees, on the out­side of houses, ba­si­cally any­where out­doors. If BMSB was to es­tab­lish here it would have a ma­jor im­pact on the NZ hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try and the en­vi­ron­ment, as well as be­com­ing a nui­sance and in­vad­ing homes. It is ex­tremely hard to con­trol and erad­i­cate.

BMSB is best iden­ti­fied by size, sim­i­lar to a 10 cent coin, with white band­ing on the an­ten­nae, and al­ter­nate black and white mark­ings on the ab­domen. If you see a BMSB catch it, photograph it, and call the MPI Pest and Dis­ease Hot­line on 0800 80 99 66.

◀ From left to right: Nicky Fitzgib­bon and John Brightwell, MPI, Leanne Ste­wart, HortNZ, and Ed Massey, NZ Wine­grow­ers. Striped an­ten­nae Striped bands on ab­domen

AC­TUAL SIZE 10c coin sized

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