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Growers door knocking today to thank Grey Lynn residents

Fruit and vegetable grower representatives will beat the feet across Grey Lynn today to thank more than 300 households for helping save New Zealand’s $6 billion industry from the Queensland Fruit Fly.

New Zealand was officially declared Queensland Fruit Fly Free on 4 December, 10 months since the first of 14 flies was discovered in Grey Lynn during February.

The group of 12 from Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand and Horticulture New Zealand will be delivering a gift card to every household in Zone A of the Queensland Fruit Fly Controlled Area. These are redeemable at one of six retailers also affected by movement controls put in place during the response.

Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Alan Pollard said door knocking is a way to meet and shake hands with those residents whose daily lives were impacted the most and had the greatest responsibility of protecting growers’ livelihoods and New Zealand’s horticultural industry.

“We are looking forward to personally thanking Grey Lynn households and families who for the past 10 months have played a critical part in protecting our industry from an insect that put our $6 billion industry at risk.

Kiwifruit Vine Health Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, said support from the local community during the response was essential in achieving a successful outcome.

“Without their co-operation over the last 10 months, eradication would have been far more difficult so we are very grateful for their ongoing assistance during a very inconvenient time for them.

As part of the eradication programme residents in Zone A were most affected by response activity and opened their backyards to have pest control teams set and monitor traps on their properties working day and night. No fruit has been able to be taken out of the area.

Simple things that other Kiwis have been taking for granted, like packing whole fruit into the school lunch box, have been prohibited.

HortNZ president Julian Raine said the New Zealand industry owns a deep debt of gratitude to the residents and retailers in the affected areas of Grey Lynn.

“We can’t thank these people enough for their concern and vigilance.”
The risk to the $6 billion New Zealand horticulture industry (including fruit, vegetables and wine) from the Queensland Fruit Fly was two-fold:
• the destruction caused by the pest and the on-going cost of attempting to control it, and
• the cost of international markets closing to our products.

It would also severely impact on hobby and household gardeners and the ability for New Zealanders to enjoy fruit grown in their own backyards.

For more information:
Leigh Catley
Horticulture New Zealand
P: +64 4 470 5665 | M: 027 241 4350 |

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