Scientists discover one of the 'world's worst weeds' on Auckland's North Shore

Unitec scientists say they have discovered one of the world’s worst weeds growing in Albany on Auckland's North Shore.

Himalayan wineberry. Source: Supplied

According to a statement from Unitec, The Himalayan wineberry bramble, which is regarded as one of the top 100 world's worst weeds, has been discovered growing on a roadside near Gills Avenue Scenic Reserve.

Unitec says it's the first time the weed has been found in New Zealand.

The discovery was made by Dan Blanchon and Peter de Lange from the School of Environmental and Animal Sciences at Unitec while carrying out a routine inspection of the area last week.

Plant Biosecurity has the species listed as entry prohibited into New Zealand.

"This is a very significant discovery of a weed that could potentially cause considerable damage to native plant communities in New Zealand if not contained," Mr de Lange says.

"It is difficult to detect at its early stages and equally difficult to remove once the plants are well established because of the density of the thickets it forms."

The new discovery has been reported to the Ministry for Primary Industry and Unitec says the ministry is responding.