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Bio operations swat fruit fly pest

Biosecurity New Zealand has ended its Northcote fruit fly operations and lifted restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables on Auckland’s North Shore.

Spokesperson for Biosecurity New Zealand, Cath Duthie said the move signalled the end of a year-long operation, triggered by the discovery of a Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the area.

“While this is great news, we remind people in the area to still stay vigilant for signs of the fruit fly,” Dr Duthie said.

“It’s now been 6 months since a fly was last trapped in the area, and this, along with an intensive baiting programme throughout the spring and the inspection of hundreds of kilos of fruit without a find, has given us confidence there is currently no breeding population of the Queensland fruit fly in Northcote.”

She said Biosecurity New Zealand could now once again declare the country free of Queensland fruit fly.

Minister of Biosecurity, Damien O’Connor said community assistance was an important aspect of the programme’s success.

“This has been a really long haul for this community and I’d personally like to pass on a big thanks to each and every North Shore resident,” Mr O’Connor said.

Dr Duthie said that biosecurity wheelie bins that had been delivered to neighbourhoods would now be removed and road signs dismantled.

“However our nationwide routine surveillance will continue with our system of 7,800 fruit fly traps spread across the country and more than 4,600 of these in the Auckland area,” she said.