21 Feb 2019

Second Queensland fruit fly found in Auckland

10:34 am on 21 February 2019

A second Queensland fruit fly has been discovered on Auckland's North Shore.

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A Queensland fruit fly. Photo: CSIRO / AFP

The male fly was collected from a fruit fly trap and formally identified yesterday.

The first Queensland fruit fly was detected in a surveillance trap in Devonport on 14 February.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said surveillance activity in Auckland would be stepped up following the latest discovery.

An area of Northcote has been placed under a Controlled Area Notice restricting the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of the controlled area, and a brochure with information will go to homes in the area this morning.

MPI director general Ray Smith said while there had now been two finds, it did not mean New Zealand had an outbreak of fruit fly.

"We are totally focused on finding out if there is an incursion of the Queensland fruit fly in these areas. At the moment, these are two single males found quite some distance apart, and there's no evidence of a breeding population.

"We have an absolute commitment to tracking down these unwanted pests and ensuring New Zealand is free of harmful fruit fly."

Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor said he had asked authorities to check the hundred of traps on Auckland's North Shore by the weekend, rather than checking them once a fortnight.

Mr O'Connor then wants all 2000 traps across the rest of Auckland checked as soon as possible.

An independent review of New Zealand's biosecurity system will get under way next week.

Australian expert Rob Delane, a former deputy secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Australia and a former director general of the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, will carry out the review.

Earlier this week another species of fruit fly was spotted in the Auckland suburb of Ōtara, in a discovery unrelated to the Queensland fruit fly finds. Biosecurity New Zealand has been carrying out an operation in the area since the single male Facialis fruit fly was caught in a surveillance trap.

Fruit fly response:(source:MPI)

  • More than 80 Biosecurity New Zealand staff working across all responses.
  • Field crews are working across these responses, working closely with the communities impacted.
  • Biosecurity New Zealand is having leaflets translated into a number of languages including Samoan, Tongan, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Fijian and Hindi.
  • Signs have been put on key arterial roads in and out of Otara and in Devonport, and will now be placed in Northcote.
  • Bins will be provided in the area so local people can safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.