The discovery has set off alarm bells. New Zealand's $6.4 billion fruit and vegetable industry is vulnerable. In addition, estimates are that an infestation could also cause $71.4 million in damages to the horticultural industry.
New Zealand, being an island in the middle of the Pacific has always had a unique environment, with many one-of-a-kind creatures. But its remoteness also makes it particularly vulnerable to damaging incursions. The Kiwi fruit industry has been suffering from a bacterial disease thought to have been inadvertently imported from China that has cost $885 million and almost 500 jobs - big numbers in a country as small as New Zealand.
New traps are being placed. The good news is that it was just a single, male Fruit Fly that was discovered. The bad news is that the search will continue for several weeks. Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry are even going door to door in the area. Talk about needle in a haystack.
(Update: More than 200 insect traps were set up around Auckland, an additional 150 MAF employees were brought in, but no further Fruit Flies were found. Phew.)