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Hobbs Overlooked Importance Of Agricultural Sector

The Government's cop-out on bee mites last week appears to have stemmed from the Minister of Biosecurity's preoccupation with greenie issues, National's Gavan Herlihy said today.

Marian Hobbs appeared in front of the Primary Production Select Committee yesterday (Thursday) where the Government's decision not to opt for an eradication programme came under intense scrutiny.

"Marian Hobbs seemed to be unduly focussed on the public reaction to the use of poisons to eradicate feral bees, and whether there was total agreement among beekeepers.

"Those issues should have been periphery, and her primary focus should have been on New Zealand's number one industry, agriculture. The real issue is that the future of our clover based pastoral industry is at stake, along with the future of our horticultural sector.

"Ms Hobbs displayed her total lack of understanding on the importance of agriculture to the New Zealand economy.

"Our agricultural future is inextricably linked to its biosecurity performance. It's now very clear that portfolio should be controlled by the Agriculture Minister, as it was in the last Government, rather than a person with no understanding of the sector," Gavan Herlihy said.

Ends

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