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National Pest Plant Accord

Reproduced from an article by Murray Dawson

From The New Zealand Garden Journal (Journal of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture), Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2002, p. 23.


The purpose of the National Pest Plant Accord is to prevent the propagation, sale, or distribution of specified pest plants within New Zealand.

The Accord lists ninety-two species, subspecies, and varieties, and replaces the National Surveillance Plant Pests list (Vervoort, L. and Hennessy, C., November 1996, published by the Auckland Regional Council. See also Vervoort, L. 1995: Regional plant pests nationally banned from sale and distribution. PROTECT, Journal of the New Zealand Institute of Noxious Plants Officers Inc., Spring issue).

The Accord is a cooperative agreement between regional councils and government departments with biosecurity responsibilities, and under the Accord, regional councils provide surveillance for a list of pest plants in their respective Regional Pest Management Strategies.

Because nurseries and garden centres can potentially be prosecuted for growing plants on this list, it is vital that the horticultural industry is fully aware of the Accord's existence. Indeed, some plants now listed have been widely propagated in the past, such as the popular feature plant Gunnera tinctoria (Chilean rhubarb). Although gardeners may feel that they are being deprived of some of their favourite plants, it is perhaps a small price to pay for preventing invasive species becoming more widely established in New Zealand. Replacement species are suggested in an excellent booklet entitled Friendly Alternatives: Plants to use in place of common plant pests (Vervoort, L. and Trueman, S., November 1998, published by the Auckland Regional Council).

Considering that the Accord list may form the basis of prosecutions, it is surprising that (like the predecessor lists) the scientific names lack synonyms and authorities (with the inexplicable exception of Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb.), both of which are used to more precisely define the plant names. Additionally, the common names are under-represented, as revealed by a comparison with E. R. Nicol's Common Names of Plants in New Zealand.

The current Web-version of the Accord list contains several typographic errors. For scientific names, the species epithet of Cardiospermum halicacabum has been misspelt "halicacatum", and for Chrysanthemoides monilifera spp. monilifera, the subspecies name is incorrectly capitalised. Similarly, for common names, hornwort is misspelt "hornnwort", and entire marshwort is misspelt "entire mashwort".

The Accord has been available on the Web since about 2001, from the biosecurity pages of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (http://www.maf.govt.nz/biosecurity/pests-diseases/plants/accord.htm). More recently, it has been reproduced with permission (and with some minor corrections as outlined above) on the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (RNZIH) website (at http://www.rnzih.org.nz/pages/plantaccord.html). Many of the Accord plants are also weeds, and links on the Accord page of the RNZIH website lead to images and descriptions reproduced from Bruce Roy et al.'s An Illustrated Guide to Common Weeds of New Zealand.

I understand that the National Pest Plant Accord will be printed as an illustrated booklet with notes so that this important information will become more widely available in the near future.

Web-notes:

The article above refers to the old list, available here as a PDF file (66.7 KB) PDF or on this site at the RNZIH National Pest Plant Accord Page. This old list is out-of-date and maintained here for historic reasons.

From the Biosecurity New Zealand website:

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Last updated: April 4, 2007