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Report should have been released to the Community

MEDIA RELEASE April 27th 2004

Spray Health Report should have been released to the Community first

There is relief in West Auckland that the Ministry of Health (MoH) has finally released the delayed Painted Apple Moth Health Study.

But there is also disappointment and anger, that the community involved and affected, have not been the first to receive the Report.

Hana Blackmore, community researcher and member of the PAM Community Network, said today that the MoH seemed to be more worried about 'managing' the release of the controversial Study, than being honest and up-front with the community.

"Whilst there is appreciation that pressure to release the Report has been effective, we had hoped there would be community presentations before the media did its own interpretation.," said Hana.

"After all the report is about the people who have borne the brunt of this unprecedented aerial assault on their homes and health, and they should have been the first to receive it."

"Very few people outside of West Auckland seem to realise the extent of MAF's five year attempt to eradicate this moth. Aerial spraying is still not over for some residents, nearly two and a half years after spraying began."

Community members will meet as soon as the Report is available, and they will be initiating early public meetings to enable the report and recommendations to be presented to the community.

Hana said that she hoped both the authors of the Report and MoH would be available for the public meetings.

ENDS

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