New Zealand Government funds further biosecurity work

Date: 1/8/2007

Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton announced that Cabinet will continue to fund the work against didymo and the southern saltmarsh mosquito. The current Government is committed to protecting New Zealand’s citizens, environment, and economy from introduced pests and disease. The Minister said ‘These two programmes, are significant. Didymo in particular is one where Biosecurity New Zealand is now leading the world in its knowledge on tackling this pest.’ Over the next three years $13.3 million will be spent on a long-term management plan for didymo. This funding also includes a contingency fund to deal with any North Island finds of didymo. The exotic freshwater algae, Didymo was found in South Island rivers in October 2004. A programme to eradicate the southern saltmarsh mosquito from New Zealand has been underway since 1998 with successful elimination of the mosquito from eight of the 12 sites. The southern saltmarsh mosquito is a vicious biter and can transmit Ross River virus to humans, as well as posing an economic threat to New Zealand.

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