UPDATE: Biosecurity alert after fruit fly find

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Fruit Fly found in Whangarei, Ministry of Primary Industries. PICTURE/Michael Cunningham
Fruit Fly found in Whangarei, Ministry of Primary Industries. PICTURE/Michael Cunningham

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is in Whangarei today as his ministry staff start to relaunch the $1.6 million biosecurity alert sparked by the discovery of a male Queensland fruit fly in the city in January.

He said intense surveillance was needed after another single male Queensland fruit fly was found in a Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) surveillance trap on Tuesday and formally identified late on Wednesday.

The surveillance will be rigorously applied for a fortnight to comply with international standards enabling New Zealand's $4 billion horticultural industry to maintain its fruit fly-free export status.

The latest fruit fly was found about 400m from the spot where where the first was discovered in the Parihaka area of Whangarei over two months ago.

MPI staff were yesterday defining zones where the movement of fruit and vegetables will be restricted and where residents will be questioned in a bid to identify how the pest got into the country.

MPI Deputy Director General Compliance and Response, Andrew Coleman, said it was believed the new find was unrelated to the January incident.

- Northern Advocate

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