Kiwifruit Strap
This is ground zero, where it all began.

It's 2010 in Te Puke and a devastating bacterial strain has taken hold.

It has ruthlessly attacked and it has shown no mercy on gold kiwifruit.

It has ruined vines. It has ruined orchards. It has ruined lives.

Nearly a decade on, the owner of that orchard retells the story of where the Psa outbreak began.

He describes the immediate aftermath as "harrowing".

He did fight back though. He desperately tried to save his orchard.

But in the end it was a waste of time.


Russell West's orchard in Mark Rd, Te Puke, was ground zero for the biggest biosecurity disaster to hit New Zealand's horticulture industry.

On November 5, 2010, a contractor noticed spring shoots were dying on West's Hort 16A gold vines. Panic soon set in after Psa was identified and his Olympus orchard was officially locked down by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), now the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The phone began to ring off the hook. Rumours were rife.

Scientists and experts were flown in from around the country as Psa started to spread like wildfire.

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