Despite all the protective measures in place, myrtle rust has been found on public conservation land in a native North Taranaki bush.

Kevin Hackwell of Forest and Bird says the Ministry for Primary Industries wrongly removed restrictions in that area and the fact there are no controls in place to stop humans spreading the disease is irresponsible.

“And we know from Australia and already from here in New Zealand that human's moving the stuff around is actually a big part of its spread. Yes, it's going to spread naturally but we need to slow it down and removing these restrictions are actually going to speed it up and that's a real big problem.”

MPI lifted restrictions on the movement of plants affected by myrtle rust this week.