About 60 New Zealand government staff are still scouring Whangarei for any evidence of a tiny fly that could cause large problems for the country’s fruit and vegetable industry.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has deployed staff to the area after a single Queensland fruit fly was detected on Tuesday.
The male fly was trapped about 400m from the spot where another single male fruit fly was discovered in January.
So far, no other fruit flies have been detected.
“There are restrictions on the movement of fruit and some vegetables out of a defined controlled area,” a MPI spokeswoman said.
“Whole fruit and vegetables cannot be moved out of the controlled area, although fruit and veges can be carried into the area.”
The controlled area has a radius of 1.5km from where the fruit fly was found on Tuesday, but does not include the local Pak’nSave or Countdown.
MPI is setting traps to “lure any fruit flies” that may be in the area, while officers are checking gardens and rubbish bins.
There are more than 180 fruit fly traps set in the area.
On Friday, the Labour opposition pushed for the government to halt fruit imports from Queensland and New South Wales until the investigation has concluded.
They say the flies could devastate New Zealand’s $2.5 billion horticulture industry.
But the government said that would be a “complete over-reaction” which could lead to retaliatory action against New Zealand exports.
Tuesday’s find was the fifth time a Queensland fruit fly has been found in New Zealand but so far no population has established.