New Zealand’s ports are one of the main entrance points for unwanted organisms, including mosquitoes. In 2001 the Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry (known as MAF) found Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) with imported goods at the port of Auckland. Mosquitoes are regularly found at ports – this species was intercepted in 1993, 1998 and 1999. The Asian tiger mosquito is named for its black and white stripes, and would probably become established in New Zealand if given the chance. It can transmit at least 22 viruses known to cause human disease.
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