Myrtle rust spreads into Marlborough

10:58 am on 1 June 2018

Myrtle rust has spread into Marlborough, with plants infected with the destructive disease found in Havelock and Renwick.

Common myrtle leaves infected with myrtle rust, on Maui, Hawaii.

Myrtle rust has been found in more than 500 sites across New Zealand. Photo: CC BY 2.0 Forest & Kim Starr

The fungus was seen for the first time in the South Island in April, when plants in the Tasman District were found to be infected.

It is now established in almost all regions identified as vulnerable, with more than 500 reported cases, and government agencies have given up on trying to eradicate the disease.

The Marlborough District Council confirmed that the containment of the disease was not possible because of the disease's windblown nature.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has removed the infected trees in Havelock and Renwick.

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