Jan Purdie, Apata
Jan was deployed through KiwiNet and spent five days in the response operations in Grey Lynn.
Role: Surveillance. The surveillance team spends their day walking from house to house identifying and recording host plants on properties and collecting information about fruit and vegetable movements.
Within hours of receiving a call requesting help with the fruit fly response, Jan arrived at the Whenuapai Airbase in northwest Auckland for her first briefing.
Jan spent the next five days in Zone B as part of the surveillance team. This meant going from door to door in the controlled area talking to residents and asking them a series of questions about how they were disposing their fruit waste, whether or not they kept compost, checking properties for host plants and asking them about their recent activities around fruit and vegetable movements.
This information was recorded on manual forms, returned to HQ and later used by the fruit collection and tracing teams.
Dealing with so many people each day from very diverse cultures and backgrounds meant the surveillance people had to have good face to face communication and people skills.
Jan said local residents were very receptive and showed a lot of concern about fruit fly being discovered in their area. “Most residents were always happy to help and we met some truly wonderful people in the area. The locals and the people working in the response were doing all they could to help eradicate this fruit fly.”