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Whangarei fruit fly operation comes to an end

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

8 February 2014 Media Statement

EMBARGOED UNTIL 8:30AM 8 FEBRUARY 2014
Whangarei fruit fly operation comes to an end

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has thanked the people of Whangarei for their cooperation over the last two weeks in responding to the find of a single male Queensland fruit fly.

“It’s very pleasing that no other fruit fly has been found and that this appears to be a solitary insect.

“This detection is a very rare event and shows we have a high performing biosecurity system.

“I want to thank the people of Whangarei for their support and patience over the last two weeks.

“Locals have been very supportive of this operation. They realise how important it is to treat this response seriously, and their cooperation has been great,” says Mr Guy.

“I’ve visited Whangarei twice in the last fortnight, and what I’ve seen is a very rapid, professional and thorough response by the Ministry for Primary Industries.”

Controls put in place by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) restricting the movement of fruit and some vegetables have now been lifted.

“Agencies involved in the response have done an excellent job of communicating with local people and searching carefully for any signs of further fruit flies. This has involved extra trapping and fruit collection through the temporary laboratory.

“As with any major operation, MPI will look back and consider any learnings that could further enhance our systems."

“Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister. In the last year and a half around 100 new quarantine inspectors and more detector dog teams are working on the frontline, and we have new x-ray machines installed at our international airports.

“We’ve also brought in Government Industry Agreements (GIAs) which, once signed, will involve industry and Government working together on preparation and response to these kinds of threats.

“We have a world class, multi-layered biosecurity system with measures in place offshore, at the border, and within New Zealand to prevent pests becoming established here. This response shows it is working well,” says Mr Guy.

ENDS

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