New Zealand suspends Tonga watermelon imports after fruit fly larvae found

Kumā si'i toe vela hono hiku. Ta'ofi 'e Nu'u Sila ke toe hū mai ha meleni mei Tonga hili hono ma'u ha 'inisēkite faka'auha he uike' ni 'i ha uta pea kuo puke tu'u kotoa ai mo e ngaahi uta ne 'osi tū'uta mai 'ikai ngofua ke fakatau atu. Ko e me'a 'e ua 'e fai ki he ngaahi uta ko 'eni 'e pau ke faka'auha pe ko hano fakafoki ki Tonga. Kau heni mo ha uta 'e 29 ne 'osi tū'uta mai pea 'e 'ikai toe sivi ia.

Biosecurity New Zealand has suspended fresh melon imports from Tonga after unwanted fruit insects were detected at the border.

New Zealand has suspended imports of watermelon from Tonga 

The Pacific fruit fly larvae were detected in a consignment of watermelons during an inspection at the Ports of Auckland on Tuesday.

“On 13 October 2020, live fruit fly larvae were detected at the New Zealand border on a consignment of watermelons from Tonga,” a spokesperson for New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries told Kaniva News. 

“We have imposed an immediate suspension,” he said.

“The length of the suspension will depend on how quickly Tongan authorities can investigate the situation and put measures in place to assure New Zealand.”

“It will remain in place until Biosecurity NZ has undertaken an audit and is satisfied that any findings from the audit have been actioned.”

Until the suspension was lifted, all watermelons from Tonga arriving at New Zealand’s border would be held with the option of destruction or re-shipment.

A separate consignment of 29 tonnes of watermelon from Tonga was already being held at the border and would not be inspected or cleared.

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