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Biosecurity too important to muddle with

David Carter

Opposition Biosecurity Spokesman

24 April 2000

Biosecurity too important to muddle with

The Biosecurity portfolio is clearly causing Marian Hobbs difficulty as acknowledged by the Prime Minister herself. The portfolio should be given to a higher ranked and more capable minister, says Opposition Biosecurity Spokesman David Carter.

"The Prime Minister must recognise the importance of the Biosecurity portfolio to New Zealand. She has not given it the recognition it deserves by giving it to an eighteenth ranked minister who herself acknowledges that she is struggling with her workload.

"Ms Hobbs' reaction to the latest biosecurity threat, the bee mite, illustrated her lack of judgement about biosecurity matters. Beekeepers are very concerned about the potential effect on their industry of the bee mite. To have the Minister underplay the threat shows a complete lack of comprehension of her portfolio.

"I have been addressing meetings of concerned beekeepers, one of which was attended by over 100 people in the Hawkes Bay. The Labour Government was not even prepared to have a representative attend. The beekeepers feel ignored by the Biosecurity Minister.

"The Biosecurity portfolio is too important to hide from. If Ms Hobbs can't bear facing the public she should be replaced by someone who can handle the tough questions," Mr Carter said.


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