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WASP Update 2.9.03

WASP Update 2.9.03

From Helen Wiseman-Dare, West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying (WASP). Ph: 09 827 2516

Hamilton Anti Spray Campaign - Press Release from Hamilton

The Hamilton campaigners have collected all these signatures in just over three weeks (see below). This total is more than half the population due to be sprayed. One couple collected 500 signatures in 5 days.

Hamilton is threatened with being sprayed with 3 times the dose they use in Auckland for the PAM. They will be sprayed every 1-2 weeks, 8 times before Xmas.

Schools will not receive notification until 7.00am on the day of spraying. Spraying will take place depending on weather, at any time of the day not just at first light as they do in Auckland.

There are a number of schools in the spray zone who have been quite vocal against the spraying. Since being visited by MAF nothing more has been heard. MAF has given them an 8 page booklet to give out to parents. One can easily imagine the contents.

The Hamilton City Council was divided 7 all on the spraying but the Mayor used his casting vote to push through a vote in favour of it. At least 3 of the Councillors have spoken out publicly against it and have provided practical help or support to the campaigners.

One of Hamilton's 2 Labour MPs will present the Petition to Parliament. The other, Dianne Yates, has been far less cooperative - she only received a few hundred vote majority in the last election - perhaps she is now getting worried.

There are a number of people who have moved to Hamilton to get away from the spraying in Auckland - also MAF has evacuated people there. One couple whose children got sick in Auckland from the spray now live in the same road where the one Gypsy Moth was found - the epicentre of the proposed spray zone.

I've been told that another new anti spray group has been formed in Hamilton - West Hamiltonians Against Aerial Spraying (WHAAP).

STOP the SPRAY PRESS RELEASE www.stopthespray.co.nz - info@stopthespray.co.nz

STOP the SPRAY petition total passes 10,000

A huge effort by thousands of Hamilton residents sees a huge result and a very clear message to Government and MAF.

The signatories demanded that the government did not approve MAF's recommendation to aerially spray Hamilton with Foray 48B to eradicate the alleged Asian Gypsy Moth. Our request was that alternative methods be used to first determine if a threat exists, and then use safe eradication methods that do not involve spraying people with pesticide.

We hoped to achieve a maximum of 7,000, and this result has surpassed all our expectations.

Hamilton West MP Martin Gallagher will formally present the petition to parliament this week.

"We are all stunned at the figure, and know that MAF, the government and many of our own council cannot ignore this result" campaign spokesperson Phil Evans says.

The petition also backs up a recent Waikato Times V-Poll Survey of Hamilton residents (27 August 2003). 57% of Hamilton people surveyed do not believe that spraying is justified at this time. 25% say they are likely to leave the area if spraying goes ahead. 84% believe that the spraying could lead to health problems.

Phil Evans says "Hamiltonians can be very proud. Now government must listen, and put people first. Any other decision will not bode well in this great city."

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