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Disenfranchised By Aerial Spraying

Possibility Of Voters Being Disenfranchised By Aerial Spraying

Helen Wiseman-Dare, Independent Candidate for Te Atatu and Chairperson, WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying) said today she was concerned that with the likelihood of inclement weather pushing back the next spray round, due to start on 13 July (the last round was delayed by two weeks) there was a strong possibility spraying could take place on Election Day, as occurred in 1996 in east Auckland. She said that this would effectively disenfranchise voters in the spray zones trapped in their homes by the spraying.

She also said that she was horrified that the Government had injected another $12 million of taxpayers money into the aerial spraying operation with no guarantee of successfully eradicating the moth. This now brings the total spent so far to over $23 million in less than a year.

She said that MAF's original estimate of the moth's potential cost to the economy was listed as $48 million over 20 years.

The ongoing finds of moths in the heavily sprayed Waikumete cemetery she says show that the aerial spraying campaign is not working. Finds are also being made regularly in new areas.

She is extremely concerned over the lack of notification received by residents of the new spray zones, including her own suburb of New Lynn which is to be sprayed next Saturday. She says neither she nor any of her neighbours have received any information from MAF in their letterboxes and nothing has appeared in the local papers. She is particularly concerned for the large numbers of elderly residents who are so far unaware they are to be sprayed.

She says she will be staying away from the New Lynn shopping centre and Lynnmall to avoid being exposed to the spray.

Having read the Forestry Industry's calls for the government to take a strong stance on eradicating the painted apple moth, Helen Wiseman-Dare is wondering why the NZ Forest Owners Association is not being asked to pay for the aerial spraying rather than the taxpayer.

She is also wondering exactly how much of the $12 million will be earmarked to cover the health costs of those affected by the spray - with the expansion of the spray zone to new areas there is bound to be a rise in numbers of those affected. She says residents are being forced to foot the bill for hundreds of dollars of doctors visits and medication. She has also heard of at least three miscarriages so far in the spray zone.

Helen Wiseman-Dare
Independent Candidate for Te Atatu
Chairperson, WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying)
09 827 2516

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