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Painted Apple Moth programme update

Painted Apple Moth programme update

There is an excellent prospect of eradicating the painted apple moth, Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said Cabinet has approved the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry's programme for the next year of the three-year eradication project. This would be a targeted winter campaign during June, July, August, and September this year.

The winter campaign is expected to start on June 11, and will happen roughly every three to four weeks, till September. It will involve targeted aerial spraying in five discrete areas. These are: Hobsonville (80 hectares); Riverpark (200 hectares); Ranui/Swanson (250 hectares); Waikumete Cemetery ( 250 hectares); and Motions/Meola Creek (110 hectares).

Weather permitting, the aerial operation should be carried out on a single day, starting at 7am and finishing at midday. There will no spraying between 8am and 9am on days that children travel to school. MAF is endeavouring to have areas sprayed in a prescribed order so that residents will know the approximate time the aircraft will be in their area.

Public information and updates will be available on Newstalk ZB or MoreFM, through the call centre 0800 96 69 96, and the website www.paintedapplemoth.govt.nz

Mr Sutton said the aircraft to be used would be the "air tractor", a light fixed-wing aircraft, not the Fokker Friendship.

He said that with only two moths caught during the past two months, we have an excellent prospect of eradicating the painted apple moth.

"We're starting to build up a reasonable knowledge of tools that could be useful in confining it and reducing its spread if we fail to eradicate the pest. One of those tools will be ongoing spraying, but at a reduced frequency."

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