The discovery of a fruit fly in Auckland could have serious consequences for New Zealand's horticultural industry.
The male Queensland fruitfly was found in Grey Lynn on Monday, and formally identified yesterday.
New Zealand's key trading partners were notified of the discovery yesterday, while horticultural bodies here were contacted today.
Residents in the 1.5 kilometre exclusion zone which covers Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Mt Albert, Western Springs and Kingsland would be door knocked and given pamphlets over the coming days.
There were about 500 residential properties in the initial 200 metre zone, or "Zone A", and about 5,000 households in the 1.5 kilometre zone, or "Zone B".
They can take produce into their homes, but not out.
Auckland Zoo had been forced to put a stop to any food waste leaving its grounds in Western Springs.
It said it was liaising with the Ministry for Primary Industries about biosecurity arrangements.
Chief Operating Officer Andrew Coleman said the fly most likely entered New Zealand as an egg or larvae from fruit from Australia or the Pacific Islands.
He said field teams were starting work today setting additional fruit fly lure traps.
Mr Coleman said the discovery may effect the Cricket at Eden Park and a major Pacific festival.
"We've had meetings with the Eden Park Trust, we've got meetings today with those that are running events in Western Springs. We know there is a very large Pasifika festival for the next couple of weeks in Western Springs.
"And so we're working with not just those large events, but any person or group who is holding events in Zone B, the 1.5 kilometre zone," he said.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the trapping of the fly showed that biosecurity controls were working.
The last fruit fly discovery, in Whangarei last April, sparked a major biosecurity alert, at the end of which the Ministry for Primary Industries declared the country fruit fly free again.
Horticulture New Zealand said it was the fourth fruit fly scare in three years, and wanted a return to x-raying all passenger bags at international airports.
New Zealand's $5 billion horticulture industry was at risk of bans from other countries if the insect was to establish here.
Chief executive Peter Silcock said clearly the risk was not being controlled.
"There are two things that have really changed. And one is that Queensland Fruit Fly, the distribution of it in Australia is expanding rapidly. It's effectively out of control there I think, they're having incursions down into South Australia and Adelaide, so that's a real concern for us.
"And the other thing that has changed over the last few years we've moved away from the 100 percent bag x-ray at our airports. And we know that the x-ray is very good at picking up pieces of fruit and that is how that would come in, in a passengers bag with a piece of fruit or two," he said.
Countdown Supermarkets has provided the following information:
- Both its Williamson Ave and Richmond Road Grey Lynn supermarkets are within the MPI controlled quarantine area.
- Customers who live in the quarantine area can still buy fruit and veges from its stores to eat inside the area, but they can't take it from their stores or their homes to anywhere outside the controlled area.
- All other central Auckland stores still trading as usual, as are online shopping deliveries.