Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has today expressed his thanks to Biosecurity New Zealand, the horticulture industry and everyone working on the fruit fly response in Auckland, as well as residents in the affected suburbs.
Biosecurity New Zealand has announced the last controls on fruit and vegetables have been lifted due to there being no fruit flies detected since 14 March. They are confident no breeding population exists.
“This is great news for New Zealand as a whole, and in particular the horticulture industry, which would have been severely impacted by the establishment of a fruit fly population in New Zealand,” Damien O’Connor said.
“Through the partnership model of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA), the horticulture industry played a crucial role in the campaign and I want to thank them for their efforts.
“This is exactly why the GIA partnership model was established, so government and industry can achieve better biosecurity outcomes by working together.
“Biosecurity New Zealand also put in an immense effort and I commend them for their hard work over the last two months.
“We must continue to be diligent so there will still be an enhanced network of fruit fly traps in place for an extended period, however, this is a precautionary measure.
“We have successfully stopped this fly from establishing a population in New Zealand several times before and we should pat ourselves on the back that we’ve been successful once more.
“I particularly thank those Aucklanders, in Devonport and Ōtara as well as Northcote, who were affected by the operation and controls. They really stepped up to support us in this response.
“As I’ve said previously, the residents of these areas have shown terrific community spirit during these last two months. However, I know they will be pleased things are returning to normal.
“The impact an established population of this fruit fly would have been devastating to our horticulture industry with the economic effect trickling down to all aspects of society,” Damien O’Connor said.