Tongans urged to bin fruit before travel to NZ

By Radio New Zealand

Tongan travellers to New Zealand are being reminded not to bring any fresh produce with them after the facialis fruit fly was discovered in Auckland.

Two of the fruit flies were caught in traps this month in the suburb of Otara, where restrictions on moving fresh produce were enforced and disposal bins set up for some fruit and vegetables.

Catherine Duthie of the Ministry for Primary Industries said the species was native to Tonga, where it causes damage to chilli and capsicum crops and can also spoil mangoes and citrus fruit.

Tongans are being asked not to fly with fruit vegetables, she said.

“People shouldn’t be bringing any fresh fruit or vegetables in from Tonga,” Dr Duthie said.

“If in doubt just leave it out of the luggage, don’t bring it in. The biosecurity inspectors in Tonga are very good at picking these things up, as are our inspectors at the border.”

Dr Duthie has urged people to contact her ministry if they find evidence of the fruit fly in New Zealand.

This article is republished under Kaniva’s partnership content agreement with Radio New Zealand.

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