Vine disease affects Bay of Plenty kiwifruit

Uploaded by tekareremaorinews on 08.11.2010

Kiwifruit growers will meet with industry officials tonight
to discuss a vine disease affecting the Bay of Plenty.
The problems it could bring are not yet known,
but concern is growing amongst Maori kiwifruit growers in the region.
Checking the kiwifruit orchard was a major part of the day
for Pukaingataru in Te Puke,
knowing very well the disease PSA has been found in their region.
The kiwifruit industry in worth millions for Maori,
better still the entire NZ economy.
The disease is a type of bacteria which eats away at leaves and vines.
Everyone is on high alert.
It was recently found in Italy
where they lost almost 50% of their produce.
The main objective now is to test the disease
and ascertain just how bad it is.
According to the Prime Minister, this could take between two weeks.
The warning to growers is not to act in haste
until we know just how serious the situation really is.
Maiki Sherman, Te Karere.
Maanu Paul is a shareholder in a kiwifruit orchard
in the Bay of Plenty, and was formerly a grower.
Maanu Paul joins us live from our Rotorua office.
What do you know about this disease?
I found out yesterday that our kiwifruit orchard
had been infected with this disease.
That was quite alarming
because we do not know what strand of PSA it is.
There one that is fatal and one that can be remedied.
That is our concern at this time.
Should the Maori growers be concerned about this disease?
Indeed, because it does not discriminate
between Maori farms and Pakeha farms.
It will kill them all.
Italy, Japan, Korea were all affected by this disease
which killed their kiwifruit. We should be very concerned.
The disease can be transferred by the wind, bees and dust.
So it can easily spread?
I don't agree with that.
This disease comes from the earth.
It enjoys the same conditions as mushrooms.
Heavy moisture and hot weather
make for perfect conditions for PSA to grow.
I believe it is a relative of the mushroom.
Last summer was very hot and this year,
over the past few months, there has been heavy rain,
so it has created a breeding ground for this disease to grow.
I do not believe that it spreads through bees and other means.
In the history of our ancestors,
there were times when native Maori plants would all die,
because of such a disease.
We are suffering the same thing now.
You are a Maori shareholder in a kiwifruit orchard.
What are you doing about this?
We are working closely with Zespri,
because this can not be resolved by one man or one company alone,
it will take the entire kiwifruit industry.
This could affect the NZ economy.
It is worth $2 billion to our economy,
so it could affect it if we can't find a solution.
Maanu Paul, thank you very much for your time today.