DATE 2 November 2006
Suspect Rangitikei River algal sample not didymo
The suspect sample from the Rangitikei River is not didymo, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand announced today.
The sample was tested by NIWA in Christchurch and was found to be Gomphoneis, a native alga, biosecurity response
manager David Hayes said.
“We commend the person who reported their concern for doing the right thing and allowing it to be tested. There are a
variety of pests and diseases that threaten New Zealand and they need to be reported to MAF. The public’s four million
pairs of eyes play a vitally important role,” he says.
Mr Hayes again encouraged freshwater users to be vigilant and to Check, Clean and Dry freshwater equipment between
waterways regardless of where they were in New Zealand.
“Although no North Island rivers are known to be affected by didymo, it is extremely risky to assume any river anywhere
in New Zealand is “didymo-free” because didymo is often microscopic and the risk will not always be apparent.
“Biosecurity New Zealand remains ready and has plans in place in the event of a North Island detection. Public awareness
and behaviour change is our best weapon and along with our partner organisations, we will continue to educate about the
didymo risk and will be targeting high-risk activities over the summer months.
To report an exotic pest or disease, call the MAF Emergency Pest and Disease Hotline: 0800 80 99 66.
NOTE TO REPORTERS. In the interests of accuracy, didymo is an alga, it is NOT an aquatic weed.