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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news