28 Feb 2013

PSA-V came to NZ from China

12:50 pm on 28 February 2013

New research from Otago Univeristy shows the strain of the PSA-V kiwifruit vine disease which is hammering the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, originated from China.

Professor, Russell Poulter said a team of scientists looked at the genes of PSA strains around the world and the strain found in Newv Zealand is incredibly similar to a strain found in China and different from strains found in other nations.

The report adds weight to the suspicions of many in the sector that PsSA got into New Zealand through imports of Chinese pollen.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he expects the findings will lead to growers launching legal action against the Government.

He said growers are going to the poor house because the Government failed in its duty to protect the border.

Retraction of statement by Peters wanted

The University of Otago is demanding that New Zealand First leader Winston Peters retract a statement about a study into the PSA kiwifruit vine disease.

On Wednesday night, Mr Peters published a statement claiming an Otago University scientist Russell Poulter used genetic analysis to prove that PSA arrived in New Zealand on contaminated pollen imported by Kiwi Pollen Ltd.

Professor Poulter said that is not correct because his study only determined which country the disease came from, not how it got from that country to New Zealand.

Mr Peters said neither he nor his staff have read Dr Poulter's study and would not have made the mistake if they had.

The findings of study will be published at 11am on Thursday.