Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor says Hawke's Bay is well protected from the ongoing possibility of a fruit fly outbreak.

O'Connor was in the region on Tuesday, not long after a biosecurity breach in Auckland, where three Queensland fruit flies were found on the city's North Shore.

"I think there's about 194 traps here," he told Hawke's Bay Today.

He said Hawke's Bay's horticulture industry had strong plans in place if something similar were to happen in the region.


"There's a government industry agreement with Apples and Pears, with most of the horticulture sector, so there is active engagement and planning."

However he said there was always a risk of biosecurity breaches at the border, including at Napier Port.

"Wherever you have access from foreign vessels or containers, people are bring goods into Hawke's Bay all the time, there's a threat here."

He said everyone had a part to play in New Zealand's biosecurity.

"Each and every one of us is responsible. Keep an eye out for something which might be unusual, make sure when moving around the regions, not just moving in and out of New Zealand, that we are careful not to inadvertently or consciously carry any bugs or any unwanted diseases."

As well as biosecurity, O'Connor is Rural Communities Minister, and discussed the worker shortage the horticultural industry is currently experiencing.

He told Hawke's Bay Today there needed to be more longer term planning done, which would allow the government to make better predictions around the number of Recognised Seasonal Employment workers needed each year.

"I'm sure we can improve the level of planning so it's not last minute declarations, such as we've seen now."


He said fruit growers were concerned about the current situation.

"They have high quality fruit on trees and they want to pick it at the right time."

He said there needed to be flexibility on both sides of the discussion, with growers needing to plan for the long term better, but Government needing to understand horticulture was subject to the climatic influences.

During his visit to Hawke's Bay O'Connor spoke to growers at NZ Apples and Pears, visited a pack house, spoke to Hawke's Bay Regional Council and visited Napier Port.