Federated Farmers has this week called on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to hold firm on a shipment which has been previously turned away from the Ports of Auckland.
The vessel, carrying vehicles from Japan, was deemed a biosecurity risk after the discovery of over 100 brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB).
As no port in New Zealand has the capacity to fumigate the ship, it has been subsequently re-routed to Australia.
"That ship and its cargo should not be allowed anywhere near our shoreline until we have assurances that it is comprehensively fumigated with all the marmorated stink bugs destroyed," says Guy Wigley, Federated Farmers' Biosecurity Spokesperson.
"The threat to our primary industries is significant and the implications are huge. It could damage our economy to the tune of hundreds of millions.
"This scenario is effectively akin to the Foot and Mouth disease of the crop world. It makes arable and horticulture farmers very nervous and we have to trust in our biosecurity measures."
"That ship and its cargo should not be allowed anywhere near our shoreline until we have assurances that it is comprehensively fumigated with all the marmorated stink bugs destroyed,"
Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) Chief Executive, Barry O'Neil, says MPI should be congratulated for taking the right action in turning back ships that have arrived at our ports carrying hundreds of unwanted pests.
"Over the last few days MPI has turned around two large cargo vessels because one of the most damaging pests to the kiwifruit and wider horticultural industries — the brown marmorated stink bug was found hitchhiking on both ships and in used vehicles onboard."
The BMSB is a pest that could destroy New Zealand's fruit and vegetable industries. It also infests homes, ruins gardens, and stinks when crushed says Barry.
"It's not in New Zealand yet and we want to keep it that way — we must do everything we can to keep it out."