Weed biosecurity breach through coco peat imports.
Coco peat (coir or coconut fibre) is widely used in the nursery industry. During 2008/09 some 44 plant species were identified in imports of the coco peat, with 31 species being new to New Zealand. These weeds comprised a multitude of growth forms from semi-aquatic to dryland, prostrate to small trees and included grasses, sedges and broadleaf species. Several plant nurseries around New Zealand were found to have been affected by this incursion. The biosecurity breach was managed at these sites through a combination of methods, including hand removal and the use of a pre-emergence herbicide. Risk assessments concluded that these weeds pose a low risk to New Zealand, primarily because they are tropical and not well suited to New Zealand's temperate climate.