Grey Lynn is now fruit-fly free with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today (Friday 4 December) confirming that the Auckland fruit fly operation has been successful and that the Queensland fruit fly has been eradicated from New Zealand.
MPI’s Director-General Martyn Dunne confirmed that field staff cleared fruit fly traps in Grey Lynn for the final time earlier on 4 December and found no signs of the fruit fly for the first time since March.
“Local residents will be happy to hear that the controlled area has been lifted and there are no longer any restrictions on the movement of fresh fruit and vegetables in Auckland,” said Mr Dunne.
Routine checks to continue
While the eradication programme is now over and New Zealand is officially fruit-fly free, MPI’s routine checks for fruit flies will continue and the nationwide network of 7600 fruit fly surveillance traps will remain in place.
Mayor Len Brown says the vigilance of the many agencies involved, along with the cooperation of the Auckland public, has been key to the success of the eradication programme.
“People within the affected central suburbs have coped with the inconvenience of the restrictions with good grace. Their efforts have meant we’ve been able to shut down this threat to our biodiversity and gardens – both residential and commercial,” said Len Brown.
“We encourage members of the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of insect species that look out of place.”
Joint effort to eradicate pest
The programme kicked off in February 2015 when a single Queensland fruit fly was caught in one of MPI’s extensive network of surveillance traps. A small breeding population of the flies was soon found, triggering the resulting programme of insecticide treatments, trapping and community education.
Eradicating the fruit fly has been a joint effort between MPI, horticulture industry partners KVH, Pipfruit New Zealand and Horticulture New Zealand, AsureQuality (MPI’s field operations provider), Auckland Council and the local community.
Auckland public thanked
Mr Dunne says MPI and the country’s growers would like to thank the residents and businesses located in affected suburbs.
“You’ve borne the brunt of this situation with both the movement restrictions and regular insecticide baiting on fruiting plants in your gardens. We’re extremely grateful for your support.
“I can’t stress enough how vital this work has been. This particular insect pest is a significant threat to our $3.6 billion a year horticulture industry and home gardens.”