Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has unveiled big changes to New Zealand’s biosecurity system, including new law changes to strengthen animal tracing and details of a Biosecurity Act overhaul.
One of the new finds is inside the current Zone A and the other is in Zone B.
Head of Biosecurity New Zealand Roger Smith said the latest finds will mean an expansion of Zone A in Northcote and associated restrictions on the movement of fruit, vegetables and green waste. Zone A now extends south to the bottom of the Northcote Point.
Smith says these recent finds mean we are zeroing in on the Northcote flies and Biosecurity NZ can increase its operational response.
“Our teams on the ground will be removing fallen fruit from backyards, inspecting compost bins and placing bait on fruit trees to attract and kill adult flies, in particular females,’ it says.
The bait is made up of a protein to attract adult fruit flies and a very low concentration of insecticide to kill the flies; similar to how people bait wasps in their backyards.
“The baits are toxic to fruit flies. We have taken every precaution to make sure the baits are safe around people and animals. They are not harmful to bees,” says Smith.
“We will give people living in the area at least 24 hours’ notice that we will place bait in their property and will provide them with detailed information about our programme.
“We strongly urge people living in Northcote to check if they are living in the new Zone A and what this means for them. They can do this on our website – biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly
“We will be working closely with the local community to get this information out to people, and will be start [sic] putting information in letterboxes over the weekend.”
There have been no further finds of Queensland fruit fly in Devonport since the only find there on February 14.
“However, because of the proximity to Northcote, we will continue with movement controls and trapping there for the time being. We will reconsider next Friday whether this needs to continue further. There is no need to undertake bait laying in Devonport,” adds Smith.
"We are very grateful for the support all communities affected by the fruit fly detections continue to give us. We know it’s a huge inconvenience but it’s vital for our horticultural industry – and the $6 billion that in contributes to our economy - that we do this, as well as for our ability to grow fruit at home. We don’t want this pest to establish here.”
No further Facialis fruit fly have been found in Otara. Biosecurity New Zealand will review movement controls there at the end of next week.
Detailed maps of the controlled areas and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are at biosecurity.govt.nz/fruitfly.