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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug biosecurity partnership renewed

An important agreement to ensure New Zealand continues to fight the threat of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has been renewed and updated by Government and nine of New Zealand’s largest horticulture industry groups.

An important agreement to ensure New Zealand continues to fight the threat of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has been renewed and updated by Government and nine of New Zealand’s largest horticulture industry groups.

BMSB is widely regarded as one of the most significant biosecurity threats NZ faces. BMSB is spreading around the world, but has not established in NZ, although it has been caught at the border many times. BMSB is known to feed on more than 300 different types of plant species. If it establishes here, it could decimate NZ’s fruit and vegetable market. BMSB could also have an impact on our native forests, and home gardeners.

The BMSB Operational Agreement was first signed in July 2017 and was the second such agreement under the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA). The Agreement sets out the decision-making requirements for biosecurity readiness and response activities in relation to BMSB, as well as the cost-sharing arrangements between the Government and affected industries. Its renewal ensures that New Zealand continues to be protected from the threat of BMSB arriving and as a country is well-prepared in the event a response is required, which thankfully has not yet occurred.

BMSB Council Chair, Sophie Badland, who represents NZ Winegrowers on the Council, says all the parties are very pleased to have finalised the new agreement to continue to work together and build on the strong gains already made.

“The strong desire of all the parties to renew the BMSB Operational Agreement will enable Biosecurity New Zealand and the horticulture sector to continue working together to reduce the threat of BMSB arriving here in NZ and minimise the impact should a population ever establish,” says Ms. Badland.

“Right now, BMSB are the biggest biosecurity threats facing horticulture. An unmanaged BMSB incursion would cost the horticulture industry billions of dollars, and more than that would have significant negative impacts on the New Zealand public, and potentially on taonga species of special significance for Māori. It would also have a major impact on NZ’s trade relationships with the economy likely to be hit hard.

The new agreement took effect from 13 July 2023, and has a five-year term. It sets out the outcomes sought by the parties in reducing the threat of BMSB to New Zealand, and the roles and responsibilities of each of the signatories.

The Agreement provides for shared biosecurity readiness activities for BMSB and makes provision for the parties to extend the agreement to other types of Stink Bugs (pentatomids) should a threat to NZ be identified. The Agreement allocates cost-shares for activities carried out based on the benefits achieved by horticultural sectors and the public should BMSB establish in NZ.

“Under the GIA partnership Government and industry have achieved far more than would have been possible working in isolation of each other,” concluded Ms Badland. “We are proud of the significant steps the parties have taken to reduce the threat to all New Zealanders of a BMSB incursion and look forward to continuing to work in partnership to continue this important work.”

To see BMSB up close, here’s a brief video from MPI -



Ministry of Primary Industries

NZ Government

Kiwifruit Vine Health Incorporated

Kiwifruit, including Kiwiberry growers

NZ Apples and Pears Incorporated

Pipfruit sector that grows fresh pipfruit for consumption, including the Nashi sector

NZ Avocado Growers’ Association Incorporated

Commercial avocado growers

New Zealand Winegrowers Incorporated

Commercial grape growing and grape wine sector

Tomatoes New Zealand Incorporated

Commercial fresh tomato growers

Vegetables New Zealand Incorporated

Commercial fresh vegetable growers

Summerfruit New Zealand Incorporated

Commercial summerfruit growers sector

Horticulture New Zealand Incorporated

Process Vegetable NZ Grower members

Seed and Grain Readiness and Response

Commercial Arable sector

Photo credit: Gonzalo Avila, Plant and Food Research 

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