Last Thursday, myrtle rust was found in one of New Zealand's gardens of national significance. The Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed that New Plymouth's Pukekura Park contains the fungus. Myrtle rust, thought to have blown in to New Zealand from Australia, attacks various species of plants in the myrtle family, such as pōhutukawa, mānuka, rātā, kānuka, swamp maire and ramarama.
So far, 210 sites across the country are confirmed to contain affected trees. Almost half -101 cases- are in Taranaki, while 4 are in Northland, 32 in Auckland, 47 in Bay of Plenty, 22 in Waikato, and four in Wellington.
Stuff.co.nz reported that the investigation in December found that the cost of myrtle rust to New Zealand's economy could stretch into the thousands of millions. IT could also cause some regions' economic activity to fall by up to 10 percent.
Following this prediction the fungus could really lead to a drop in GDP, putting possible losses as high as $1,390 million.