Myrtle rust has now spread to 39 properties around the country after a new positive detection in Northland at the weekend.

Despite the break-out beginning in Northland, most - 33 - of the properties are in Taranaki.

Four are in Northland and two others are in Te Kuiti, Ministry for Primary Industries [MPI] confirmed today.

During the weekend a new positive detection was found on two plants traced from the original affected nursery in Kerikeri.

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The plants had since been removed and safely destroyed.

Myrtle rust has been found on a mix of both seedlings and adult trees and the affected species to date are pohutukawa, Lophomyrtus bullata (ramarama), eucalyptus, manuka and Syzygium smithii (Lilly Pilly).

The disease was yet to be found on feijoa.

MPI confirmed it was receiving "unprecedented support" from members of the public, with 720 reports of suspected symptoms to its 0800 number.

It was now working closely with the Department of Conservation to try to manage the situation.

Both agencies continue to encourage people look for signs of myrtle rust - clear pictures are at: www.mpi.govt.nz/myrtlerust

Report suspected myrtle rust to 0800 80 99 66.

Do not touch the rust or the plant because the fine wind-borne spores are very easily spread on clothes or shoes. Note the location and take photos of the symptoms and the plant.