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Anti-spraying groups 'up the ante'

MEDIA RELEASE
18th December 2002

Anti-spraying groups 'up the ante'

A community group in the Painted Apple Moth aerial spray zone in West Auckland, is upping the ante in their fight to stop aerial spraying.

The Stop Aerial Spraying network (SAS) has announced that it is taking the fight into the legal arena and will be challenging both Local Council and Government to act now to protect its citizens.

Sue Berman of SAS, said today that the Group has engaged Sir Geoffrey Palmer of Chen Palmer, Wellington, as legal counsel. They hope that a legal examination of the facts will find a way to recognise and implement the rights of people not to be sprayed with unknown pesticides against their will.

“This shows the seriousness with which we take the government's refusal to
listen to people’s concerns" said Sue. "The draconian provisions of the Biosecurity Act 1993 cannot go unchallenged. Spraying pesticides on people as a solution to biosecurity incursions cannot, and must not continue."

In a parallel move, the united network of anti-aerial spraying groups will be petitioning Waitakere City Council to fulfill its statutory obligation under the Health Act 1956 to protect the health of citizens from the affects of Foray 48B.

In the public forum at 4.15pm during tonight's full council meeting, a representative of the groups will be calling for Council to act, as a matter of urgency.

"Whilst it has been too late to get the item on the agenda for this last meeting of the cycle, we hope that Council take our concerns on board and discuss this under urgency" said Sue. "We understand that as a result of pressure from the community at community Board meetings this month, the acting manager of legal services, Philip Griffiths, has been researching Council's liability in this matter".

"We sincerely hope that Council will work together with the community to stop
the aerial spraying" said Sue.

The Group is currently funding the legal costs by donation and an appeal for further donations to aide the legal campaign is being made. The group says donations can be made either by post directed to STOP AERIAL SPRAYING, P.O. BOX 95 091, SWANSON or via the website www.geocities.com/no_spray.

Meanwhile the Chief Ombudsman, Sir Brian Ellwood, has just advised Stop Aerial Spraying that he is investigating, under the Official Information Act, the Minister for Biosecurity's refusal to release the formulation of Foray 48B to the people who are being sprayed.

"The right to know what we are being sprayed with is a fundamental right" says the Group.

Contact: Sue Berman - 021 041 4427

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