Fruit fly issue means new home for festival
This year’s Pasifika Festival won’t be held at Western Springs.
The event is moving to Hayman Park in Manukau because of the Queensland fruit fly problem in the Grey Lynn area.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has placed restrictions on the movement of whole fresh fruit and some vegetables out of a 1.5km exclusion zone which includes Western Springs Park.
This year’s festival will include more than 230 food and craft stalls, many of which will serve fresh fruit – a staple of many traditional Pacific Island cuisines.
The Ministry says the risk of the pest being carried outside of the affected zone would be high if the festival went ahead at Western Springs – an estimated crowd of 40,000 people per day is likely to attend.
A fifth Queensland fruit fly was discovered on February 24.
The pest, if it became established here, would represent a major threat to New Zealand’s $2.6 billion horticultural export trade.
‘‘We have been expecting to find more flies, so the latest detection is no surprise, and confirms that the trapping systems continue to be successful,’’ ministry chief operations officer Andrew Coleman says.
The ministry has more than 180 staff working in the field on movement controls, fly traps, public awareness and treatment. Stricter controls continue to be applied at borders.
Ground-based spraying has also been completed under the fruiting trees where positive finds have been made.
Residents within the smaller central ‘‘zone A’’ are being asked to dispose of all store-bought fruit and vegetable waste in special dis- posal bins that have been provided by MPI and to leave any home-grown fallen fruit on the ground in their garden for inspection by MPI.