27 Feb 2015

Tonga halts Auckland fruit imports over fruit fly scare

7:20 pm on 27 February 2015

All imported fruits from Auckland in New Zealand have been temporarily banned by Tonga.

Radio Tonga reports this is after a warning from New Zealand authorities that the Queensland Fruit Fly is damaging fruit in Auckland and could cause the same damage in Tonga.

The Acting Director of Agriculture Dr Viliami Kami says the ban is based on a need to ensure that Tonga is safe from problems which can harm the commercial products such as squash, watermelon and papaya.

The Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni).

The Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni). Photo: James Niland

Dr Kami says if the flies affect Tonga's products it will lose its overseas markets.

Fruit from other parts of New Zealand can be imported to Tonga but with the specific authorisation from the agricultural officials of that particular area.

Tonga says it will wait on New Zealand to inform them when the ban can be lifted.