Livestock grazing on a farm with a good view of Auckland’s Sky Tower is the story behind the latest Dairy Women’s Network visual story telling project Our People, Their Stories.
"These controls are an important precaution while we investigate whether there are any further fruit flies in the area," says Andrew Coleman, MPI deputy director general, compliance and response.
"The Queensland fruit fly is an unwanted and notifiable insect that could have serious consequences for our horticultural industries. While we urgently search for any further signs of the fruit fly in the Avondale area, we need the support of local people."
A Controlled Area Notice is in force for 1.5km around Avondale, from approximately the intersection of Blockhouse Bay Rd and Trent St in the north to the end of Blockhouse Bay Rdin the south; and from the intersection of Great North Rd and Memorial Drive in the west, and approximately number 33 Maioro St in the east. Note that these descriptions are approximate and a detailed map of the controlled area and description of the boundaries is available at www.mpi.govt.nz
Whole fresh fruit and vegetables cannot be moved from inside this area outside of it. Within a smaller area, called Zone A, which takes in a circle 200m out from the initial find, whole fruit and vegetables cannot be moved off properties at all. However, fruit and vegetables can continue to be transported from outside of the restricted areas into them.
Key fruits, vegetables and plants of concern are:
All citrus fruits, all stonefruit, pears, apples, blackberry, boysenberry, grapes, feijoa, passionfruit, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, pumpkin, avocado, custard apple, quince, persimmon, loquat, olives, oleander, kumquat, crab-apple, cape gooseberry and guava.
Residents are asked to avoid composting any of these risk fruits and vegetables. For disposing of fruit and vegetable waste, they are encouraged to use a sink waste disposal unit if possible. MPI is providing special bins in the Controlled Area for the disposal of fruit and vegetable waste. The locations of these bins will be advised shortly.
"We appreciate this will be inconvenient for the many hundreds of families living in and around Avondale but their compliance with these restrictions is a critical precaution to protect our horticultural industries and home gardens," Coleman says.
"It is likely the restrictions will be in place for at least a couple of weeks.
"At this stage a single male fly has been found in a surveillance trap, and this does not mean there is a population of the fly in New Zealand, but we need to limit the transport of any material that could carry the fly or its larvae while we investigate the situation."
MPI and its partners have deployed investigators in the affected area. They will be laying traps and checking fruit trees, vegetable gardens and rubbish bins for any signs of fruit flies.
"It is vital that we ascertain if the insect is a solitary find or if there is a wider population in Auckland," Coleman says.
"MPI's staff will be doing all they can as fast as they can to establish what we are dealing with but the community is essential to the effectiveness of our biosecurity response."
If further fruit flies are found, the Ministry says there will not be aerial spraying of insecticides as there are other more effective treatment methods available.
Full information will be regularly updated on www.mpi.govt.nz.
Call MPI to report any suspicious finds or for further information on 0800 80 99 66.