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Good Enough For Taranaki Good Enough For East Cape

If Its Good Enough For Taranaki Its Good Enough For East Cape

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP again urged MAF to redraw the boundary between the Varroa infected zone and Varroa-free zone to protect the East Cape honey industry.

Mr Ewen-Street said MAF have already redrawn the boundary line earlier this month to keep the Taranaki in the clear zone and said if it was good enough for the Taranaki than it was good enough to protect the East Cape.

"The Varroa mite is the very last thing the East Cape needs. The area is struggling economically and the introduction of Varroa into the area would cripple the developing manuka oil and honey industries in the area that the Government's Community Employment Group (CEG) has actively supported," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said there were plans to shift bee hives from infected areas into the East Cape during the next two weeks and that MAF have not found any trace of the mite in the Cape, despite searches for it.

"The MAF decision to protect the Taranaki sets a firm precedent and the logic of the decision simply must be applied to the East Cape. I have suggested to Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton that he redraws the boundary line along the Whakatane River to keep the East Cape clean. [See map]

"It is ridiculous that the Government have helped establish these organic honey industries through the CEG only to allow another branch of Government to jeopardise them," he said.

"The East Cape needs all the jobs, development and assistance it can get. The Cape needs Varroa like it needs a hole in the head."

Mr Ewen-Street said the Government should shw its commitment to Closing the Gaps and regional development by supporting the efforts of East Cape beekeepers and taking a simple, logical step to protect their industries from the Varroa Mite.

"Again, if they can redraw the boundary for Taranaki beekeepers, why not for those in the East Cape?"

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