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

 


Controls on fruit and vegetable movements lifted

Controls on fruit and vegetable movements lifted

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that all restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables in Whangarei have been lifted as of this morning Sunday 20 April.

MPI Chief Operations Officer Andrew Coleman says last night marked the milestone, milestone, recognised as international best practice, where two weeks of trapping, fruit sampling and testing were completed.

“We received our final results from trapping and fruit examination last night and I can confirm that our rigorous checks found no further sign of the Queensland fruit fly in the Whangarei area. New Zealand’s fruit fly-free status remains intact. There is no longer any need for residents in the area to be restricted in their movements of produce.”

A fortnight ago the Ministry put in place a 1.5 km diameter Controlled Area around where a single male Queensland fruit fly was found in a surveillance trap in the suburb of Parihaka. Residents were asked not to move whole fresh fruit or vegetables outside of this zone, which took in Parihaka, Riverside and parts of central Whangarei.

The move was precautionary while MPI carried out intensive checks for any further flies. Had a population been found, the controls in place would have prevented any spread of the pest fly out of the area.

“MPI would like to sincerely thank the wider Whangarei community for their fantastic support throughout this operation,” Mr Coleman says. “It is particularly pleasing given residents in virtually the same area were subject to movement controls only months ago in January/February this year for a fruit fly detection then.”

“This community help is vital in these responses. Queensland fruit fly is a major pest of a wide range of crops. Had this pest become established in New Zealand, it would have had serious consequences for our home gardeners, horticultural growers and the wider New Zealand economy.”

Mr Coleman says it is not known how the two flies got into New Zealand but the Ministry is working with the horticultural industries on investigations into potential entry routes, known as pathways. It is still thought that the two flies were separate incidents and not linked.

“Putting this in perspective, over the last 12 months 3.2 million passengers, 20,000 metric tonnes of fresh produce and hundreds of thousands of parcels and postal items have arrived in New Zealand from countries that have breeding populations of this fruit fly. These include Australia, New Caledonia and French Polynesia

“It is a fact of life that from time to time there will be risk items and pests that breach the border. There is no such thing as zero risk when it comes to biosecurity.

“We are, however, concerned that there have been two incidents of this fruit fly arriving in Northland in a short space of time and because of this, we have taken some actions to boost our biosecurity activities at our key international airports, international mail centre and transitional facilities in Auckland and Whangarei,” Mr Coleman says.

Current activities include biosecurity quarantine inspectors increasing their questioning and risk assessment of passengers from risk areas at all international airports; detector dogs being used more, including on cruise ships arriving at Opua, Tauranga and Auckland; and 100 percent dog coverage on high risk mail items at Auckland International Mail Centre.

As planned, the 18 transitional facilities* in Auckland that currently receive potential fruit fly host material will be audited to check that they are running to requirements and to raise awareness of fruit fly.

While there are no fresh produce arrival and holding facilities in Whangarei, all transitional facilities in Whangarei will be visited again as a precautionary measure to check compliance with MPI requirements and to raise awareness of fruit fly.

While the restrictions on produce movements are now lifted and this response is over, this does not signal the end of our continuing work in the area.

“MPI will increase the number of its routine fruit fly surveillance programme traps in Northland from the current 141.”

Should local residents find anything of concern, particularly insects or larvae in fruit, they should contact MPI’s Pests and Diseases Hotline – 0800 80 99 66.

* Definition of a transitional facility: Transitional facilities and containment facilities are approved to hold and manage imported risk goods that are brought into New Zealand. Transitional facilities are generally for imported goods such as food products, things made from wood or plant material, sea containers, used machinery or vehicles, and other products that might have some associated biosecurity risk. These goods may undergo an inspection or treatment of some kind at the transitional facility before they can be “cleared” by MPI.
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics.

Can the two surviving Maori Party MPs (one electorate, one list) credibly work together with the old firebrand who split up the group years ago, and still hope to rekindle some of that same old magic? More>>

 

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news