FRUITFLY IMPACTS EXPORT

Tonga has banned fresh fruit imports from Auckland, fearing the Queensland fruit fly.

Eight Queensland flies, including a female, have been found in the Grey Lynn, Auckland area. An extensive Ministry for Primary Industries operation is underway to eliminate the fruit fly population.

Tonga’s government statistics do not break down the value of New Zealand fruit imports but show dramatically the danger fruit fly poses to its fragile economy.

Around 78 percent of Tonga’s export revenue is from the sale of squash, watermelon and papaya. Fruit from other areas of New Zealand can be imported, but only with authorisation from agricultural officials outside Auckland.