Figures from Statistics New Zealand show there were 708 hectares of land planted in mandarins last year, up from 691 ha in 2012. However, this is down from the 914 ha of land planted with the orange citrus fruit tree in 2002.
Last year, New Zealand orchardists and vegetable growers feared the brown marmorated stink bug would make its way here, after it cut a swathe through crops in the United States and threatened plants in Europe. The bug feeds on more than 300 host plants, including citrus, pipfruit, stonefruit, berries and grapes, corn, honeysuckle and roses.
According to an article on stuff.co.nz, Pipfruit NZ chief executive Alan Pollard has said if the bug made its way to New Zealand it had the potential to cause billions of damage to the economy.