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Fruit fly threatens New Zealand's $4 billion horticulture industry

Staff writer |
New Zealand's horticulture industry is collectively holding its breath while it waits to find out if there will be any more Queensland fruit flies found in Northland.

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The Ministry for Primary Industries announced the detection of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a suburb of Whangarei.

"This is an anxious time for all growers and the whole horticulture industry. We are watching the response efforts very closely and providing support and advice to the Ministry where we can. Growers appreciate the difficulties this is going to cause for people living within the controlled area that has been set up around the find," HortNZ president Julian Raine says.

The risk to the $4 billion New Zealand horticulture industry from the Queensland Fruit Fly is huge: there is a possible destruction caused by the pest and the on-going cost of attempting to control it, and there is the cost if foreing markets close to NZ products. When fruit fly was discovered in Auckland in 1996, China shut its doors to New Zealand exports for two years.

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