Fruit Fly Find Means Anxious Wait For Growers

23 Jan 2014

New Zealand’s horticulture industry is collectively holding its breath while it waits to find out if there will be any more Queensland fruit flies found in Northland.

The Ministry for Primary Industries this morning announced the detection of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a suburb of Whangarei.

“This is an anxious time for all growers and the whole horticulture industry,” HortNZ president Julian Raine says. 

“We are watching the response efforts very closely and providing support and advice to the Ministry where we can.

“Growers appreciate the difficulties this is going to cause for people living within the controlled area that has been set up around the find. 

“We thank them very much for their co-operation. It’s not just commercial horticulture that needs their help, but all Kiwis with fruit trees and veggie patches.”

The risk to the $4 billion New Zealand horticulture industry from the Queensland Fruit Fly is two-fold:

  • first is the destruction caused by the pest and the on-going cost of attempting to control it, and
  • second is the cost of international markets closing to our products, because those trading partners don’t want to get the Queensland pest either.

The export of fruit and vegetables is New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner.