Frequently Asked Questions

Could didymo spread to lakes throughout New Zealand?

Yes. Although didymo prefers a river environment with clear water flowing over stable substrate at depths sufficient for light penetration to drive photosynthesis, blooms have been found in South Island Lakes. Lake Wakatipu, for example, contains visible didymo on some parts of the lake shore.

What is New Zealands status regarding TSE's

New Zealand's livestock populations are free from TSEs - scrapie in sheep and goats, BSE in cows and CWD in deer.

Who is sampling and monitoring rivers for didymo and how and when will this be carried out?

Surveillance for didymo is ongoing and has been an important part of the response since day one. Formal surveys were first conducted in Southland and Otago regions in December 2004. This was supported by a nationwide call for all organisations regularly working or conducting research in other New Zealand rivers to keep an active look-out for signs of didymo. Since the transition from response to long term management in 2007 the responsibility for ongoing sampling and monitoring work has moved to organisations with regional responsibilities. They select the most important places for sampling in their area and decide how often to sample. Regional groups can store their sample results in the national didymo samples database (offsite link to

Why did we give clearance to the consignment of zebra danio fish in the first place?

At the time we were acting on the best information available. The importer believed the fish were dyed (which is apparently not uncommon in aquarium fish circles). A veterinarian inspected the fish under UV light (used to pick up fluorescence which is a tell-tale sign of GM in this case). No obvious fluorescence was observed and the importer’s assertion that they were dyed was entirely plausible.

If I send a BACC Application by fax as I do now, how will it be processed if it isn't in the Inbound Messaging queue?

The fax processes will continue to be used to process faxed BACC applications, albeit they will be scaled down as the fax traffic decreases, and eBACCa will receive priority.

What about rubbish collection in the controlled areas?

MPI has asked that you separate your rubbish, with fruit, vegetable or garden waste separated from other rubbish. This material should ideally be disposed of through in-sink waste disposal units, or can be disposed of in special bins that MPI is providing in the area. The location of these bins will be on the website. Non- restricted material will be collected as normal.

Does MAF prosecute/fine if the HSNO Act has been breached?

MAF and ERMA New Zealand have the ability to prosecute under the both the HSNO and Biosecurity Acts.  This is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Does varroa harm humans or livestock?


Where was Asian tiger mosquito found?

A single male Asian Tiger Mosquito was trapped at Shed 8 on the wharf at the Ports of Auckland on Friday 1st March 2007 as part of a routine mosquito surveillance program. Investigations are currently underway to establish whether this is a one off event or whether it is part of a localised population.

What is the Farm/Property Number/ Code on the registration form?

This space on the registration form is for the ROP number that many South Island growers use. We have changed the form to indicate “Farm ROP number (if known)”.