Proposals to change new organism status
We sought submissions on proposals to remove the new organism status of seven species.
Call for candidates
Order in Council
This would mean the organisms would no longer be regulated and considered new organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act.
These organisms were chosen by the Minister to go through public consultation. They include insects, house plants, a common bacterium found in bees and cheese, and a virus that affects tomatoes.
There are a variety of reasons for changing the status of these organisms, from removing barriers to researchers who want to study them further, to making plants legal to buy in New Zealand.
Latest update: 20 December 2021
The submission period closed on Friday, 17 December 2021. Submissions that were sent after the deadline will not be considered until the next call for proposals.
We are now processing and reviewing each of the written submissions on proposals to remove the new organism status of seven species already present in New Zealand. The organisms are:
Pepino mosaic virus
Pepino mosaic virus was discovered in Auckland greenhouses in April 2021. The virus affects tomato production, but has no impact on food safety or health. The virus is found in many parts of the world, especially Europe and North America.
The change of status would allow the import of vaccines that contain mild strains of the virus to immunise tomato crops against more aggressive strains.
Dicyphus n. sp. bug
The bug Dicyphus n. sp. was first detected in New Zealand in 2013.
Studying the biology of this bug would help identify which species of Dicyphus it is, and understand the options to manage it.
Paropsisterna cloelia beetle
This pest beetle was first recorded in New Zealand in 2016. It has spread from Blenheim to Gisborne and the wider Hawke's Bay. It is now too widespread to be eradicated.
It defoliates eucalyptus trees and slows their growth significantly, delaying harvest.
Deregulation will enable researchers to undertake pest management research on this beetle in the field and in the laboratory.
Pilea peperomioides, Philodendron pedatum and Philodendron squamiferum plants
These ornamental plants are readily available to buy in New Zealand even though it is illegal to do so. The biosecurity risk is considered low.
Deregulation means an import health standard can be developed for these plants.
Paenibacillus alvei bacterium
This bacterium is widespread in New Zealand. It is found in some cheese, fermented tomatoes, healthy beehives, honey bees, honey, and soil.
Deregulation will mean removing uncertainty around developing a new import health standard for bee products.
Once the review is completed, a final recommendation will be sent to the Minister for the Environment.
If the Minister approves the organisms, they will no longer be regulated under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act. The proposal would remove impediments to researchers wishing to work with these organisms.
We will update this page when this decision has been made.