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West Aucklanders Horrified At Spray Timing Changes

PRESS RELEASE FROM WEST AUCKLANDERS AGAINST AERIAL SPRAYING

Helen Wiseman-Dare, Chairperson, West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying said today she was horrified that, at a meeting held by MAF at Unitec this week, MAF officials had announced their intention to shorten the time interval between aerial sprays from three to two weeks.

This would mean that some residents would be subjected to over 70 sprays over the course of the spray programme.

She said that MAF are currently evacuating 55 families to motels during spraying - well over 100 people. Some are under doctors' orders not to return home for at least 10 days after each spray due to serious adverse health effects. She said that the shortened time interval between sprays would effectively sentence evacuees to remain almost permanently in motels, often leaving other family members and pets alone at home. This would also impact on people's ability to get to work or school. Some have already been forced to sell their homes and leave the area. Many people's lives and health have been totally devastated by the aerial spraying, she said, with many paying for their own ongoing evacuation costs plus hundreds of dollars in doctors bills and vets bills for their sick animals.

Ms Wiseman-Dare also said that many feel that MAF's over-the-top advertising blitz is falsely representing the effects of the caterpillar on people and the environment, while failing to warn people of the effects of the spray. At least one person is taking a complaint to the Advertising Standards Complaints Board over one of the television advertisements depicting a cemetery which they feel is offensive.

WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying) Ph: 827 2516, Email: wasp@xtra.co.nz

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