Myrtle rust arrived recently in New Zealand, around 2017. Now that it's here, we want to keep other strains of the fungus from other parts of the world out. This matters because Auckland's pōhutukawa coast is an iconic part of our city.
See a healthy pōhutukawa below.
Myrtle rust can be carried on clothing or equipment, so make sure all your items you bring with you from overseas are clean.
See the yellow pustules of myrtle rust on an infected plant below.
It's too early to say what impact myrtle rust will have, but in other countries it has caused huge declines and is expected to cause plant extinctions. The blaze of red flowers in December means it's called the NZ Christmas tree. Our whole pōhutukawa walkway turns red and is a favourite experience for our visitors.