Controls on fruit and vege movement in Whangarei

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A single male Fruit Fly found in the Hatea Drive area of Whangarei. PHOTO/RON BURGIN
A single male Fruit Fly found in the Hatea Drive area of Whangarei. PHOTO/RON BURGIN

The Ministry for Primary Industries has placed controls on the movement of whole fresh fruit and some vegetables out of an area of Whangarei following a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap.

"These legal controls are an important precaution while we investigate whether there are any further fruit flies present, Andrew Coleman, MPI Deputy Director General, Compliance and Response

"Should there be any as yet undetected flies out there, this will help prevent their spread out of the area."

The Controlled Area Notice is in force for a 1.5km circular area around the location of the find, taking in parts of Parihaka, Riverside and central Whangarei.

Detailed maps of the controlled area and a full description of the boundaries, and full information about the rules are at www.mpi.govt.nz

Whole fresh fruit and vegetables (except for leafy vegetables and root veges) can not be moved outside of the controlled area.

Within the wider controlled area there is a smaller central Zone A (which takes in a circle 200 metres out from the initial find), and whole fruit and vegetables cannot be moved off properties in this area at all.

Fruit and vegetables can continue to be transported from outside into the Controlled Area, so residents can go about their grocery shopping as normal.

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 people living in and around Parihaka, Riverside and parts of central Whangarei, but compliance with these restrictions is a critical precaution to protect our horticultural industries and home gardens," Mr Coleman said.

"It is likely the restrictions will be in place for at least a couple of weeks."

If further fruit flies are found, the Ministry said 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.

- Northern Advocate

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