New Zealand is now fruit fly free after a small number of the Queensland pests were found early this year in an Auckland suburb.

The Auckland fruit fly operation had been a success and traps set in Grey Lynn found no signs of the insect this morning, Ministry for Primary Industries director-general Martyn Dunne said.

"We have not found any fruit flies in the affected area since March and enough time has passed to confidently say that New Zealand is again fruit fly-free," he said.

He said the Controlled Area was also lifted and there were no longer restrictions on the movement of fresh fruit and vegetables in Auckland.


"The MPI wheelie bins which have become a part of the local landscape will now be removed and life should soon get back to normal."

Mr Dunne said he was extremely grateful for the support of residents and businesses in the 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 and we're extremely grateful for your support."

The Queensland fruit fly was a significant threat to New Zealand's $3.6 billion a year horticultural exports industry and home gardens, he said.

"This makes the eradication cost of $13.6 million (as at the end of October) a very justifiable investment to make."

The programme begun in February this year when a single Queensland fruit fly was caught in one of MPI's extensive network of fruit fly surveillance traps.

A small breeding population of the fruit flies were soon found which resulted in insecticide treatments, trapping and community education.

The Ministry for Primary Industries would continue to routinely check for fruit flies and the nationwide network of 7600 fruit fly surveillance traps would remain in place.


Mr Dunne reminded Kiwis travelling overseas to declare or dispose of biosecurity risk goods such as food when returning to the country.