The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has given up on the fight to eradicate myrtle rust after the plant disease was found in the South Island for the first time.
Myrtle rust has now been found on a ramarama plant in the Tasman region.
- MPI slammed for lifting Taranaki myrtle rust containment notice
- MPI eases myrtle rust containment restrictions
- Myrtle rust infection found in Wellington
It was discovered on a residential property in Collingwood last week.
Response Spokesperson Dr Catherine Duthie said it is really disappointing but it is not unexpected.
"We said it would be a challenging disease to contain and eradicate but we would give it a good crack," Dr Duthie said.
Myrtle rust was first discovered in North Island's mainland last year in May.
Dr Duthie said MPI is looking at a long term management plan to contain the disease.
There are now 540 infected sites across the North Island and top of the South.
MPI is asking the public to report any sightings of the disease through their Biosecurity Hotline - 0800 80 99 66.