A mobile bio security x-ray machine is to be introduced to Tauranga in an effort to keep fruit fly and other destructive pests out of New Zealand.

The Ministry for Primary Industries announced this morning it will introduce two new mobile bio security x-ray machines this summer, following the purchase of a ew mobile x-ray last year to screen the bags of cruise ship passengers arriving at North Island ports.

"The additional mobile units give MPI greater flexibility to wheel out x-ray screening for fresh fruit and other bio security goods across the whole country," MPI Detection Technology Manager Brett Hickman said in a statement this morning.

"This year their use won't be restricted to cruise ship passengers. They'll go to where the action is.

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"For example, they will provide backup for our fixed bio security x-ray units at airports and Auckland's International Mail Centre.''

One of the mobile units is due to head to its base in Tauranga this week. The other two units will be based in Auckland and Dunedin.

"We've already used one to scan international mail items while an existing permanent x-ray machine was undergoing repairs."

Mr Hickman also expected to see them used for screening express freight items and if for any reason MPI needed to set up a special bio security clearance area.

MPI currently owns and operates 28 fixed x-ray units for bio security scanning at international airports, military bases and the Auckland International Mail Centre.