Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Field work ramps up to tackle Queensland fruit fly

Field work ramps up to tackle Queensland fruit fly

Some 70 field workers are out in Whangarei today setting additional traps to lure any Queensland fruit flies that may be in the area.

The response work follows the detection earlier this week of a single male fruit fly in a purpose designed surveillance trap.

MPI is working to ascertain whether there is a breeding population of the pest flies present. The Queensland fruit fly feeds on a large range of fruits and vegetable plants and if established here, could have serious consequences for our horticulture industries and home gardens.

Ministry Deputy Director-General, Compliance and Response, Andrew Coleman says the field workers, from MPI’s frontline troops and the operations provider AsureQuality, are extending the existing trap network in place and checking home gardens in the area for any signs of further fruit flies.

“To date there have been no further detections of the fruit fly, although this is early days.
“We have a field laboratory now in place to examine fruit and vegetable matter from the affected area plus any suspect insects that may be caught in traps.”

Mr Coleman says legal restrictions are now in place on the movement of whole fruit and some vegetables out of a defined Controlled Area that is centred on the location of the original find.

“We appreciate that this is very inconvenient for local people, particularly given this operation follows a similar fruit fly find in almost the same location in January. The community showed tremendous goodwill the first time and we are asking them to bear with us and comply with the measures which are designed to prevent any other fruit flies that may be present being spread from the area.”

Andrew Coleman says there are understandably questions being asked about whether this latest find has something to do with the earlier fruit fly detection.

“At this time, all our science-based information tells us this is unlikely. MPI responded in line with international best practice to the former fruit fly find. We had comprehensive, tried and true trapping technology and fruit inspection in place for the recommended two week period and no sign of further flies was found.

“In addition, we kept an additional 37 traps in place following the January incident. These traps are very sensitive and we trust them to locate any fruit flies present. There has been no sign until this week’s detection, leading us to believe this is a new arrival,” he says.

“Of course, people will ask how this new find got into New Zealand. The reality is that at this stage we do not know and any ideas being put forward are pure speculation.

“There are a range of potential pathways (as these entry means are known) including commercial consignments of produce, arriving passengers and arriving recreational yachts. The Ministry has been looking at all of these pathways in some depth since the January fruit fly find and we cannot rule any of them in or out at this time.”

Fruit flies are generally moved as larvae or eggs within fresh fruit and some vegetables.
All produce imports to New Zealand are made under strict biosecurity requirements – generally treatment pre-shipment or with certification from exporting governments that the produce complies with MPI’s rules.

Mr Coleman says all commercial vessel traffic into the Whangarei area enters and receives biosecurity clearance at Marsden Point, well away from Whangarei city. They do not come into the upper Whangarei harbour which is close to the fruit fly find site in Parihaka.

“There are virtually no imports of fruit fly host material through Marsden Point. Cargo imports through Marsden Point are typically bulk liquids, fertilisers and stock feed.

“Arriving yachts into Northland receive biosecurity clearance at either Opua or Marsden Cove and have been inspected and cleared of any fruit or vegetables before moving to the upper harbour.

In the unlikely event that MPI establishes the entry pathway for the Queensland fruit flies found, it will make this information available.

Full information, including regular statistical updates, is at www.mpi.govt.nz – follow the fruit fly button.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news