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The Truth Is They Couldn’t Afford It

The Truth Is They Couldn’t Afford It

The Government’s decision to contain, rather than eradicate, the Varroa bee mite is a simple case of poor contingency planning, said ACT Agriculture spokesman Gerry Eckhoff.

The Government announced a $1.3m chemical based containment operation against the bee mite today. Eradication carried a price tag of $55m.

“The Government is not attempting eradication because they would go broke.

“The $55m eradication price tag represented almost half of Michael Cullen’s discretionary spending for the year. While spending $140m to keep the orchestra afloat is done without a thought, spending about a third of that to protect New Zealand’s rural sector is considered a luxury.

“While the chance of successful eradication was smaller than agriculturalists would have liked, at least an eradication attempt would have achieved the Governments goal i.e. containment, however the reverse is not true.

“This is a black day for New Zealand’s rural sector. While initially the brunt of the decision will be worn by bee keepers, the flow on effects of low pollination and the ongoing diminishing effect of New Zealand’s pasture production will be felt by all of New Zealand’s heartland.

“It is a tragedy that New Zealand’s rural sector suffer the consequences of the Government’s poor fiscal management, “ said Gerry Eckhoff.


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