The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that all restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables in Manurewa, Auckland, due to the Tau fly, have been lifted as of 2.26pm on Sunday 7 February.
MPI Surveillance Manager Brendan Gould says two weeks of trapping, fruit sampling and testing have passed and no further Tau flies have been found.
“We have just received our final results from trapping and fruit examination and I am pleased to say that the one fly found in a surveillance trap in January appears to have been a solitary traveller.
“There is no longer any need for residents and businesses in the area to be restricted in their movements of certain fruits and vegetables", Mr Gould says.
On 22 January, the Ministry put in place a 1.5km diameter Controlled Area around where the single male Tau fly was found in a surveillance trap in the suburb of Manurewa. Residents were asked not to move certain fruit or vegetables outside of this zone. The move was precautionary while MPI carried out its intensive checks for any further flies. If a population had been present, the controls in place would have prevented any spread of the pest fly out of the area.
“MPI would like to sincerely thank the wider Auckland community, retailers in the area, and also the Auckland Council for the fantastic support throughout this operation,” Mr Gould says.
“This community help was vital. The Tau fly is a pest of a number of crops grown in New Zealand, both commercially and in home gardens, and we did not want it to establish here.”
From today, residents will see the road signs go down and the disposal wheelie bins removed.
While the response operation is now over and New Zealand is officially Tau fly-free, MPI’s routine checks for fruit flies will continue with its nationwide network of 7,600 fruit fly surveillance traps.
“This programme has proved its worth. On the rare occasions where fruit flies have managed to get through our rigorous border controls, they have been detected and, where necessary, eradicated.”
Should local residents find anything of concern, particularly insects or larvae in fruit, they should contact MPI’s pest and disease hotline – 0800 80 99 66.