Fruit fly is­sue means new home for fes­ti­val

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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