Controls on fruit and vegetable movements lifted
25 May 2012
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that all restrictions on the movements of fruit and vegetables in Auckland’s Avondale area will be removed from 7am tomorrow Saturday 26 May.
MPI Deputy Director General, Compliance and Response, Andrew Coleman, says this afternoon marks the milestone where two weeks of trapping, fruit sampling and testing is completed.
“I am delighted to say that our rigorous checks found no further sign of the Queensland fruit fly and New Zealand’s fruit fly free status is confirmed. There is no longer any need for residents in the area to be restricted in their movements.”
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. Residents were asked not to move whole fresh fruit or vegetables outside of this zone.
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.
“Along with the horticultural industry body Horticulture New Zealand, MPI would like to sincerely thank the wider Avondale community and the Auckland Council for the fantastic support throughout this operation,” Mr Coleman says.
Horticulture New Zealand President Andrew Fenton says the community help was vital.
“The 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 growers and the wider New Zealand economy. So we are very grateful for the community support,” Mr Fenton says.
Mr Coleman says while the controls are lifted, this does not signal the end of work in the area.
“MPI will continue with its routine fruit fly surveillance programme.”
For further information, contact
MPI Mediaphone 029 8940328 or visit www.mpi.govt.nz