Queensland fruit fly

Bactrocera tryoni

Queensland fruit fly

Queensland fruit fly

Legal Status: Notifiable Organism
Status in New Zealand: Not in New Zealand
Organism: Insects, worms and other land invertebrates

Queensland fruit fly has been found in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.  MPI is working to eradicate it.

Auckland 2015

A single male fruit fly was caught in an MPI surveillance trap in the Grey Lynn area of Auckland in February this year and a small isolated population of the fly was found nearby.

MPI is taking action to eradicate this small Queensland fruit fly population and is confident of success as effective response options were mobilised quickly and no new adult fruit flies have been detected since early March. We have valued the support of our response partners (AsureQuality and Auckland Council), Government Industry Agreement partners (KVH and PipfruitNZ) and the local community.

A Controlled Area was put in place with restrictions on the movement of fresh fruit and vegetables outside of this area. These movement restrictions remain in force.

A small number of properties with infestations of the fruit fly were treated with insecticide sprays and ground treatments. All fruiting trees within the Controlled Area had bait applied to attract and kill adult fruit flies.

In addition to the treatment, MPI established an extensive network of traps to locate any further flies. Laboratory staff chopped and analysed some three tonnes of fruit checking for the presence of fruit fly larvae.

As at 4 May 2015, the last adult fruit fly found in the area was on 6 March 2015. The last infested property was detected on March 13.

Fruit flies are not active in the winter months, so while MPI expects the controls have been successful, we can’t be sure until spring when any flies still present would become active again.

The Ministry is now moving to a winter programme of activities. Trapping will continue over the cooler months and the restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables will remain in force. Baiting will cease over winter but may need to restart in spring, depending on results of trapping.

Media releases and situation updates

Controls on movements of fruit and vegetables

While restrictions on the movement of fresh fruit and vegetables remain in force, on 4 May 2015, MPI reduced the size of the A Zone, which is the inner section of the Controlled Area where residents are subject to the toughest movement controls. MPI is very confident about the exact location of the small fruit fly population and can now relax the restrictions on some households that are further away from the infested area.

Check where your property sits within the new Zones

Go to the interactive map and enter your address to see if it’s inside the Controlled Area and if so, which Zone.
Queensland fruit fly - Interactive controlled area map (offsite link to mpi-bs.cloud.eaglegis.co.nz)

Full information about the controls for A Zone and B Zone is in this brochure:
The Queensland fruit fly in Grey Lynn, Auckland - What you need to know (offsite link to www.mpi.govt.nz)

MPI’s fruit fly response field work is carried out following a  document known as a Response Standard which reflects international best practice and is approved by international experts.

Movement Controls – information about moving fruit and vegetables through the Controlled Area (A and B Zones)

This information is particularly relevant for transporters, food businesses and fruit and vegetable exporters.

Deliveries of fruit fly host material (fruit, vegetables or plants that the Queensland fruit fly feeds on) can be made into the Controlled Area, but your vehicle must be completely empty of any Queensland fruit fly host material before you leave the Controlled Area.

People intending to move fruit fly host material through the A and B Zones of the Controlled Area must have a permit from MPI to do so, unless you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You are transporting the material on State Highway 16 (the North Western Motorway) or the western rail link, and
  • The transit begins and ends outside of the Controlled Area, and
  • The host material is contained in an enclosed vehicle during transit, and
  • No stops are made in the Controlled Area (both A and B Zones).

If a permit is required, please call 0800 80 99 66 (the MPI Exotic Pests and Diseases Hotline). You will be prompted to dial 1 for the Queensland fruit fly response.

These controls are designed to prevent spread of the pest out of the area.

Revised controls for moving purchased fruit and vegetables outside the Fruit Fly Controlled Area.

On Monday 30 March MPI revised the movement controls to allow people to take bagged fruit and vegetables outside of the Controlled Area if purchased from a MPI-approved retailer.

The new controls enable people to purchase fruit and vegetables that are susceptible to Queensland fruit fly from certain stores that they can then take outside of the Controlled Area.

MPI approved retailers will be required to carry out a number of precautions when purchasing and selling fresh produce, including sourcing all fruit and vegetables from outside of the Controlled Area, and protecting it from fruit fly exposure. For example, keeping produce covered while being transported to their store  and/or covering all susceptible fruit and vegetables in store with a mesh fabric so that fruit flies cannot lay eggs on any fruit.

Approved retailers will seal fresh produce in a supermarket plastic bag so the person can take it safely out of the Controlled Area.

Customers may not remove the fruit from the plastic bag until it is outside the Controlled Area.  MPI requires that customers keep their receipt as proof of purchase when they move the produce out of the Controlled Area.

MPI approved retailers in the Controlled Area will display this MPI poster Link to PDF document (1707 KB). A list of approved retailers can be found at the link below:

Export Requirements

MPI has implemented transit and pest-proofing requirements for fresh fruit and vegetables moving through an Export Restriction Zone*.

All Queensland fruit fly host material that is destined for export and is travelling through an Export Restriction Zone must be contained in an insect-proofed environment.

If also transiting the Controlled Area see  the requirements above.

Growers should contact their IVA or exporter to ensure they meet these requirements.

For further information exporting requirements, a map of an Export Restriction Zone and some useful talking points for exporters please see documents below.

* MPI have defined a compulsory Export Restriction Zone which is 3.5 km radius from each detection site. All host material transiting the MPI defined ERZ must meet the pest proofing requirements to be eligible for export certification. An importing country may impose an extended ERZ in which case the exporter must comply with the additional requirements.


If you believe you have suffered loss as a result of damage to your property or controls over the movement of your goods, caused by the exercise of powers under the Biosecurity Act 1993, please refer to the compensation guidance material on the MPI website. 

About Queensland fruit fly

The Queensland fruit fly, or Q'fly, is a native of Australia where it is considered to be the country's most serious insect pest of fruit and vegetable crops. The species is found in the eastern areas of Queensland and New South Wales and the extreme east of Victoria. Queensland fruit fly has also dispersed into Pacific countries such as New Caledonia via human activity.

Fruit flies belong to the family Tephritidae, which includes over 4,500 species, most of which are not pests. Queensland fruit fly is one of the most damaging fruit fly pests as it infests more than 100 species of fruit and vegetables. Hosts include commercial crops such as avocado, citrus, feijoa, grape, peppers, persimmon, pipfruit, and summerfruit.

If this fly were to establish here, it would have serious consequences for New Zealand’s horticultural industry.

MPI operates a lure-based surveillance trapping system, to both provide early detection of unwanted pests and to provide area freedom assurance for our export fruit and vegetables. Some 7,500 traps are located throughout the North and South Islands and are concentrated in populated areas serving as centres for tourism and/or trade, areas of significant horticultural activity and areas specified as being climatically suitable for the establishment of fruit fly.

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Other useful resources

Import Requirements

Import health standards contain measures to prevent the introduction of exotic fruit flies into New Zealand. Further information on the mitigation measures for fruit fly on the fresh produce pathway can be found in the following import health standard:

All host material of Queensland fruit fly can only be imported under the terms of a bilateral quarantine arrangement between MPI and the exporting country's national plant protection organisation. These arrangements include descriptions of approved pre-export treatment systems and certification requirements.


Page last updated: 8 May 2015