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 the painted apple moth?

The painted apple moth (Teia anartoides) is a native Australian pest accidentally introduced to New Zealand. The moth is a minor pest in Australia but poses a serious threat to our gardens, crops, forests, native bush, and the communities that depend on them.

How long does the varroa mite survive away from bees?

Up to five and a half days, but usually much less.

Why can't I bring New Zealand produce back into New Zealand?

New Zealand produce, once it leaves this country, is exposed to pests or diseases in a foreign country. By bringing it back to New Zealand, there is a risk that the produce has been contaminated and would introduce such pests as fruit fly.

What happens to a detector dog when it retires?

Most of the handlers will take their operational dogs home as pets when they retire from active duties, however if the handlers are unable to keep their dogs then they are offered back to their original puppy walking families. A number of these families have waited patiently until their dogs retirement. There is also a large list of eager people wanting to take the retired dogs home.

All the prospective homes are thoroughly checked and the dogs then placed with their new families on the understanding that if there are any problems the dogs may be returned. So far none of the retired dogs have been returned and all lead a very happy and well earned retirement with their new families

How does a packer let the IVA know that they are going to be packing for Taiwan?

The registration form has now been updated to allow operators to indicate that they are registering for Taiwan.

Where should I take garden waste from the vegetation control zone?

All garden waste from within the vegetation control zone must be disposed of at either of these two facilities:

  • Living Earth Refuse Transfer Facilities, 2 Rosebank Road, Avondale.
  • Waitakere City Council Refuse Transfer Station, 20 Concourse Road, Henderson.

Remember that violating the vegetation control zone is an offence under the Biosecurity Act carrying a penalty of up to 3 months imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000. For a corporation the penalty is a fine of up to $100,000.

How much didymo is in New Zealand waterways?

It is very difficult to measure the abundance of didymo throughout New Zealand as it can be present in its microscopic form or as a large population in bloom.

What if I am bringing New Zealand wood packaging material back to New Zealand?

Wood packaging returning to New Zealand must meet the requirements of the New Zealand import health standard as it could have been infested whilst offshore with exotic pests.

How does avian influenza spread to humans?

Human cases of the H5N1 strain have been caught mainly by people in very close and prolonged contact with poultry in places such as markets and poultry farms, where there is a high density of different species of bird mixing, and where they are exposed to both live and dead birds and their droppings.

New Zealand does not have similar poultry rearing and marketing environments and there is little risk of people in New Zealand being infected through normal contact with birds.