15 May 2012

Sectors call for scrutiny of biosecurity system

8:00 am on 15 May 2012

Primary sector organisations, including Horticulture New Zealand and Federated Farmers, support intensive fruit fly surveillance efforts in Auckland but have given notice they will raise questions about New Zealand's biosecurity system once the latest threat is over.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says there have been no further detections after last week's discovery of a single male Queensland fruit fly in the suburb of Avondale.

Hundreds of traps have been set up in fruit trees in the control zones around the original discovery site to lure and capture any fruit fly present.

Field staff have also been collecting ripe fruit from trees to test for larvae and quarantine officers have also been out in force talking to shoppers in supermarkets about movement controls on fruit and vegetables.

Federated Farmers says it will back the ministry in whatever it has to do to eliminate the threat of the pest.

However, vice-president and biosecurity spokesperson William Rolleston says after the threat has passed there needs to be a closer look at border controls and checks on passengers.