Tradescantia Biocontrol Article + Opportunity to Contribute to future of Kauri

Posted 1 year, 5 months ago    0 comments

It was with great pleasure that I accepted the 2018 CAWS Early Career Weed Scientist Travel Award 
to visit fellow researchers, land managers and community members in New Zealand to workshop 
biological control protocols for the groundcover herbaceous weed wandering trad (Tradescantia 
fluminensis, Fig. 1a) infected with the yellow leaf spot fungus Kordyana brasiliensis (Fig. 1b). 

Kia ora,

The attached article highlights some exciting happenings around the collaborative biocontrol happening in Waikato and nationwide, through coordinated efforts.

Gooden_CAWS Travel report_18.6.2018.pdf

Below is a forward from the Kauri Dieback Programme Governance Group and Head of Biosecurity New Zealand; .



Tēnā koe 

New Zealand's iconic kauri trees remain at risk from the spread of kauri dieback disease. 

At the end of last year, the Government clearly signalled the need to deliver stronger protection for kauri, including the development of a National Pest Management Plan. The Kauri Dieback Programme Governance Group is progressing this work and has set up the Accelerating Protection for Kauri project to do this.  Now there’s an opportunity for everyone with an interest in kauri to contribute. 

To gather ideas and get your thoughts on ways to protect kauri there’ll be three rounds of consultation. Right now the details are still being worked on. But we can tell you the first round will be about refreshing the direction for managing kauri dieback disease. In later rounds we’ll ask you what the National Pest Management Plan could look like and ways to action it. We’re doing this over time so everyone who wants to has a chance to have their say. 

We’ll visit the following areas for hui on the first round of consultation. There’ll be a mix of marae and community venues during the day and in the evening, open to everyone: 


Monday 2 July 



Tuesday 3 July 



Wednesday 4 July 



Thursday 5 July and Friday 6 July 


We’ll be back in touch soon with more detail about the times, venues and agenda. In the meantime, please make a note of these dates and pass this information to your members or communities who may be interested in contributing to the future of kauri. 

If you can’t make the hui, there are other ways to have your say. We’ll tell you more about those in our next email. 

For any questions please reply to we’ll get back to you.

Newsletter Reminder

Posted 1 year, 5 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

There is still time to get articles in for the Biodiversity Forum Newsletter! Please email me items by the 10th of June (end of this week). They should be around 150 words and include a photo.


Thanks :)

Biodiversity Forum Newsletter Item Request

Posted 1 year, 6 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

It’s time again for the Biodiversity Forum Newsletter. I am requesting items for a June edition to be emailed in by the 10th of June.

Items should be 150 words max and include a photo.


Ngaa mihi,

Reminder to Register for May 18th Raglan Biodiversity Forum Event

Posted 1 year, 6 months ago    0 comments


Kia ora tātou

Registration for the Whaaingaroa Biodiversity Forum event will close on May 10th.

We have a great line-up of speakers and site visits. Lunch will be provided. Get in quick!

See the updated invite and agenda attached.

Bio Forum Invite_Agenda_Raglan May 2018.pdf


Report from Biodiversity Forum Event - Tokoroa, 1st of December 2017

Posted 1 year, 7 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

Attached is the report from our December 2017 forum event in Tokoroa. The event took us into Kinleith forest to look at how biodiversity protection and enhancement was taking place in South Waikato plantation forest. For the attendees, including myself, it was very inspiring to see corporate and community interests beginning to merge and create positive impacts for biodiversity and cultural taonga in Waikato.

I hope you enjoy the read, and I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming event in Raglan on Friday May the 18th.


Waikato Biodiversity Forum Report Tokoroa Dec2017.pdf

Biodiversity Forum Event Invite - Whaingaroa, Raglan May 18th

Posted 1 year, 7 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora,

Attached is an agenda and invitation to the May18, Biodiversity Forum event in Whaingaroa, Raglan.

If you wish to attend, please RSVP by email or phone by the 10th of May to: or 0800246348. Please provide your emergency contact and dietary needs. Lunch provided on the day.

Look forward to hearing from you soon!

Bio Forum Invite_Agenda_Raglan May 2018.pdf


Free Interactive Science Workshops, Hamilton, May 8 & 12, hosted by The Fairfield Project and Science Learning Hub

Posted 1 year, 7 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

The Fairfield Project and Science Learning Hub are co-presenting two interactive science workshops on May 8th & 12th - they are designed for (but not restricted to) primary teachers, and will be focused on simple ecology activities for children.

Please see attached flyer for further details.


Myrtle rust update

Posted 1 year, 7 months ago    0 comments

Kia ora koutou,

An update from us at the Waikato District DOC office on the myrtle rust find on Karioi.

I have included a short update on the new national approach to myrtle rust announced today.


Local news

After myrtle rust was found on rata on Mount Karioi during seed collection by DOC staff as part of national response to myrtle rust, the decision was made just before Easter weekend, to close the tracks to the public and a media release and information to this effect went out to the i-Site.


A karakia was performed on Wednesday morning before surveillance work started.

Sandy Hounuku has requested a hui  to converse and answer questions about operations and surveillance.


Until now we have been  purely assessing the extent of the spread of myrtle rust on the mountain.

Two DOC myrtle rust specialists have arrived from Taranaki to help support our team in implementing our surveillance phase, Stephanie Tong and Keegan Bruckner.


Surveillance work on the Karioi track above the clearing/bush line heading towards the lookout, found ramarama growing up to 660m elevation. Everything on the seaward side from the Te Toto track to the summit appeared to be infected, up to 560m elevation.  Above  this altitude, the ramarama did not appear to be infected.


In the MPI surveyed section, below the bushline Ramarama and certain rata species were found to be infected (Metrosideros diffusa)


 The altitude is of significance as this will help us understand how high the rust can survive/spread and where we need to be investigating its effects in conservation lands. The current computer model had it at 500m altitude, so these findings will contribute significantly to understanding the reality of myrtle rust's likely spread.


On Thursday and Friday 5 & 6 April,  DOC had two teams working in Whaingaroa. Team One headed up the  Wairake track from Swan's farm to the Mt Karioi summit (756m), and Team Two surveyed Te Toto Gorge Scenic Reserve and coastal surrounds.  Neither team found any myrtle species that were infected in these areas.


National news:

The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation say the fight against the plant disease myrtle rust is changing gear, given the prevalence of the disease across susceptible parts of New Zealand.


Ministry for Primary Industries’ Myrtle Rust Response Spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie says the focus of efforts now had to be placed on a science programme designed to lift our understanding around the disease such as ways to treat myrtle rust, resistance and susceptibility, and to improve seed banking collection.


“A second key focus has to be on working with communities across New Zealand to support regional efforts to combat myrtle rust. As we transition to long term management, MPI and the Department of Conservation (DOC) will be engaging with iwi and hapu, territorial authorities, the plant and nursery industries, and communities to support the development of regional programmes. This could include regional surveillance programmes, identification and protection strategies for taonga plants and special locations, advice to landowners, seed banking, and broad community engagement.”


As part of involving and informing communities at the grassroots, MPI and DOC will hold hui with iwi and councils in affected regions over the coming months.


More than 540 properties are known to have been infected by the fungal disease since it was first detected on mainland New Zealand in mid-May 2017. Since then, more than 5000 myrtle plants have been securely removed and destroyed, and more than 95,000 myrtle plants inspected.


Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report any possible cases to the Biosecurity Hotline – 0800 80 99 66.


DOC will continue to focus on seed collection to secure the long-term future of native myrtle plants and monitoring biodiversity impacts to inform science and management actions. It will also continue efforts to protect sites of high ecological and cultural significance.


Media releases:


Further information about myrtle rust:


Ngaa mihi,