Australian tomato imports halted in NZ
Just days after Australia lifted its ban on importing New Zealand tomatoes, New Zealand has suspended imports of Australian tomatoes.
The temporary ban on Australian tomatoes coming into New Zealand was imposed after five of seven samples tested showed no residue of dimethoate, used to treat for fruit fly.
Imports were suspended last week and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) was asked to look into why that had happened, said a Biosecurity NZ spokeswoman.
She was not willing to speculate on why the tomatoes might have failed the test but until AQIS came up with another method for treatment or produced the results required by New Zealand authorities, the suspension would remain in place.
The two parties were in daily discussions, she said.
About eight per cent of the tomatoes consumed in New Zealand come from Australia, generally during winter and early spring.
In 2007 more than 3000 tonnes of Queensland tomatoes worth $A9 million ($NZ10.8 million) were imported.
The suspension came just days after New Zealand tomato and capsicum growers were told their produce would be allowed back into Australia under a temporary solution to cope with concerns about a pest bacteria.
Biosecurity Australia had revised its constrains on imports of New Zealand tomato and capsicum to allow shipments to resume.
New Zealand exports about 4000 tonnes of tomatoes to Australia (worth about $A4.26m), the Pacific Islands and Japan.
I especially like the first sentence...I would like to see 'tomato' replaced with 'tourist' though...because that would be funny. Especially since three stories earlier, this was reported
More Kiwis choosing to live in Australia
New Zealanders continue to flock to live in Australia in record numbers, nearly 100 each day, according to figures released from Statistics New Zealand.
The net number of people moving to Australia permanently or long term in the year to November 2008 was 35,300, up from 27,200 the year before.
It was the highest number recorded, and exceeded previous peaks recorded in 1989 (33,700) and 1979 (33,400).
Overall there were 48,500 permanent or long-term departures to Australia, but that was offset by 13,200 arrivals from Australia.
Almost two-thirds of those arrivals from Australia were New Zealand citizens.
Despite the net outflow to Australia, overall New Zealand gained 3600 permanent or long term residents in the period.
However, that was down from 6600 in the November 2007 year, and was the lowest annual figure since the October 2001 year (1700).