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What species to include in a new import health standard for mushroom spawn for propagation

Have your say

From 9 January to 16 February 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) wants your feedback on the mushrooms we want to include in a new import health standard for mushroom spawn for propagation. We're also seeking technical feedback on options for how MPI uses the names of 2 species of oyster mushrooms.

On this page, find:  

The information on this webpage is condensed from our more detailed scientific documents. If you’d like to know more about the scientific aspects of this project, and our method for drafting the eligible and ineligible lists, email us at

We’re happy to share detailed scientific information or arrange a phone or a video call to discuss it more.

Why are we doing this?

Currently, mushroom spawn for propagation is imported under the import health standard Microorganisms from All Countries

However, this import health standard is not suitable for mushroom growers. This consultation is the first step in developing a new import health standard for mushroom spawn for propagation which we aim to be better suited for this purpose.  

  • The current standard (Microorganisms from All Countries) was designed for researchers who want to import fungi for use in their labs, not commercial producers.  
  • The biosecurity risks of fungi grown in small quantities in a contained environment are much lower than the risks of mushrooms that are mass-produced in a factory. 
  • The current standard manages the biosecurity risk of mushroom spawn imported for research use well but does not sufficiently manage the risk of mushrooms imported to propagate at a large scale for human consumption. 

The way scientists classify fungi has changed a lot since MPI first approved mushroom species for import. Advances in technology mean scientists now classify mushrooms more by their genetic makeup and less by visual and reproductive characteristics. Scientists now call many mushrooms by different names. MPI needs to review the names we use for these mushrooms and decide which names are most appropriate to use for importing mushroom spawn. Whatever we decide, we need to make sure that the regulatory status of mushroom species is clear for importers, so we'd like to hear what you think will be most useful. 

Making your submission

We're willing to discuss the scope we're proposing at any time during the consultation period. To arrange a phone or a video call, email

You can give us general feedback on the updated eligible species list through our online survey or send it to us in an email.  

We would also like more technical feedback on options for how MPI uses the names of 2 species of oyster mushrooms. We need to decide how restrictive or inclusive we should be about fungi that are considered related to Pleurotus djamor and Pleurotus ostreatus

If you have any suggestions or scientific knowledge on this matter, complete this separate survey:

Past demand for importing mushrooms

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Proposed eligible and ineligible mushroom species for importing

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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Submissions are public information

Note that all, part, or a summary of your submission may be published on this website. Most often this happens when we issue a document that reviews the submissions received.

People can also ask for copies of submissions under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA says we must make the content of submissions available unless we have good reason for withholding it. Those reasons are detailed in sections 6 and 9 of the OIA.

If you think there are grounds to withhold specific information from publication, make this clear in your submission or contact us. Reasons may include that it discloses commercially sensitive or personal information. However, any decision MPI makes to withhold details can be reviewed by the Ombudsman, who may direct us to release it.

Official Information Act 1982 – NZ Legislation