Biosecurity response ramps up after second fruit fly discovered

The Government has ordered a biosecurity operation in Auckland be stepped up after the discovery of a second Queensland fruit fly.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said on Thursday the single male fly was found in a trap on Wednesday in Northcote, on the North Shore.

It's the second fruit fly found on the North Shore in a week, the first trapped in Devonport on February 14.

A different kind, the Tongan fruit fly, was found in Otara on Tuesday.

Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor said hundreds of fruit fly traps will now be checked daily and monitoring of the greater Auckland region will be stepped up.

"I have asked Biosecurity New Zealand to check the hundreds of traps within the North Shore area of Auckland by the weekend instead of the internationally accepted practice of once a fortnight, then to expedite a check of all 2000 Queensland fruit fly traps across Auckland," he said.

"We need to know what we are dealing with as the response ramps up at pace to ensure the fruit fly doesn’t establish here," said Mr O'Connor.

“We have an absolute commitment to tracking down and keeping New Zealand free of the harmful fruit fly, as we’ve done several times before including in 2015 when $16m was spent to get rid of a breeding population of 14 flies and larvae."

An independent review of biosecurity proceedure has also been ordered.

"The Ministry for Primary Industries has, over the last few days, developed the terms of reference for its independent review of air and cruise passenger pathways and the Director General Ray Smith has appointed Australian Rob Delane to lead that."

The fruit fly response at a glance:

More than 80 Biosecurity New Zealand staff working across all responses.

Field crews are working across these responses, working closely with the communities impacted.

Biosecurity New Zealand is busy having leaflets translated into a number of languages including Samoan, Tongan, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Fijian and Hindi.

Signs have been put on key arterial roads in and out of Otara and in Devonport, and will now be placed in Northcote.

Bins will be provided in the area so local people can safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.