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People’s Inquiry Kicks Up its Own Storm

Media Release – Immediate – 26th March

People’s Inquiry Kicks Up its Own Storm

With two days left to run, organiser of the People’s Inquiry into the impacts and effects of aerial spraying pesticide over Auckland, are struggling to accommodate the number of people who wish to give oral testimony before the commissioners.

The Inquiry Commissioners have heard the testimony of many individuals and families who have suffered the consequences of what has been referred to as the negligence and mismanagement of the government programme.

On Monday 27th (from late morning – mid afternoon), community advocates will be presenting testimony that documents the magnitude of the break down of the communications between MAF, the Government and the community over the years of the aerial spray programme.

Reports that MAF had not been invited to the People’s Inquiry are not wholly accurate. The Minister of Biosecurity was formally invited to attend and listen to the people, but has chosen neither to attend nor to send any officials to observe or listen. It is not the community who has chosen to disengage but rather the other way round.

Issues raised in testimony during last week have included breaches of human rights considered unacceptable under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The steering committee were honoured and welcomed visitors from the Human Rights Commission who sat as witnesses to the hearings on Friday.

The commissioners have heard many accounts of ongoing health effects which have had considerable social and financial implications for people; stories of immense lose, pain and dislocation by those who experienced a spray reaction.

A press conference and statement will be available from the Inquiry Commissioners at the close of proceedings on Tuesday 28th in the early afternoon.

ENDS

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