Restrictions on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside a 1.5km zone around Grey Lynn have been put in place by The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). MPI confirms that an isolated population of the Queensland fruit fly has been found in the Auckland suburb.
The ministry has laid 160 traps in the zone, and expects more flies to turn up. It could be several months before the fruit flies are eradicated, an MPI spokesperson was confident they’d be able to achieve that. The ministry has ruled out using aerial spray on the suburb, but bait will be placed high up in trees in the area to attract and kill fruit flies. MPI Chief Operations Officer Andrew Coleman said a second line of treatment would involve targeted ground-based spraying of areas under fruiting trees where fruit flies had been found.
Coleman said: “We have every confidence that treatment will quickly and effectively eradicate this population. We have successfully eradicated previous incursions of fruit fly – notably the Mediterranean fruit fly in Auckland in 1996.”
It’s the fifth discovery since May 2012 of the fly in New Zealand which has the potential to severely damage the $6 billion horticulture industry.
This insect, if established here, could have serious consequences for New Zealand’s horticultural industry. It can damage a wide range of fruit and vegetables and could lead to restrictions on trade in some of our horticultural exports.
Horticulture New Zealand said the discovery of a fruit fly showed it was time to reinstate x-rays of all passenger bags at New Zealand’s international airports.
The measure was needed, at least for the summer, the organisation said, to protect the nation’s $5 billion horticulture industry and 5500 commercial fruit and vegetable growers.
The control area includes parts of Ponsonby, Mt Albert, Kingsland, Western Springs and Grey Lynn. Detailed maps of the controlled area and a full description of the boundaries can be found at www.mpi.govt.nz. Report suspected finds of the Queensland fruit fly to MPI’s pest and diseases hotline on 0800 80 99 66.
Controlled area rules
- All whole fresh fruit and vegetables, except for leafy vegetables and root vegetables, cannot be moved outside of the Controlled Area.
- Within the wider Controlled Area there is a smaller central Zone A, which takes in a circle 200m out from the initial find, and whole fruit and vegetables cannot be moved outside of this zone at all.
- MPI will be providing special bins in the Controlled Area for the disposal of fruit and vegetable waste.
- Fruit and vegetables can continue to be purchased and transported from outside the Controlled Area into the Controlled Area.