NZ kiwifruit growers to help pay for $18 mln Queensland fruit fly response

Kiwifruit growers will fork out around a million dollars toward a year-long operation to eradicate the Queensland fruit fly. An $18 million biosecurity response in Auckland finished on Friday, with New Zealand declared once again free of the pest. The total cost will mostly be covered by the government, but industry groups will also have to chip in.

Kiwifruit Vine Health, an industry-funded biosecurity organisation, said it would put forward around $1 million: "It's not something that you want to spend every day but probably a better way of looking at it is the value that's come out of that spend for our industry and all of the other horticultural industries."

The biosecurity response was triggered in the Auckland suburb of Northcote in February 2019, after a Queensland fruit fly was detected in the area. The fly is a serious pest that could harm a range of fruit crops in New Zealand.

No detections in six months
Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson, Cath Duthie, said during the operation nearly 6000 thousand homes were put under controls restricting the movement of certain produce and 1.5tonnes of fruit collected from the area was inspected.

Dr Duthie said in total, 10 male flies were detected, but biosecurity officials found no evidence of a breeding population. She said there had not been any detections in the past six months and it had now ended its fruit fly operation.


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