Myrtle rust toll still increasing

The number of properties infected with myrtle rust across the country has risen to 39.

The Ministry for Primary Industries said there were 33 properties with the fungal disease in Taranaki, four in Northland and two in Waikato.

It said over the weekend two plants in Northland, traced to the Kerikeri nursery where myrtle rust was first confirmed, tested positive.

The ministry said myrtle rust had been found on several plant species so far, including pōhutukawa, eucalyptus and mānuka.

It said it was receiving unprecedented support from members of the public who were reporting sightings of the fungus.