Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Public and parliamentary scrutiny needed over BSE

13 April 2001

Public and parliamentary scrutiny needed over response to BSE

Green Party co-leader Sue Kedgley today said scrutiny from both parliament and the public was needed to assess the effectiveness of the New Zealand response to BSE, now that it is likely to become a global epidemic.

Ms Kedgley said an official inquiry into BSE in England had concluded that the British epidemic occurred, in part, because officials consistently under-estimated and played down the risk of BSE, introduced inadequate or misconceived measures to halt the spread of BSE, falsely reassured the public and refused to admit the scale or implications of BSE.

"We need to be sure that we don't make the same mistakes here," Ms Kedgley said.

In New Zealand, to date, there has been no public scrutiny of our response to the potentially global BSE epidemic. A small group of experts on a BSE Expert Science Panel are providing advice to our ministers, but there is no public or parliamentary input or scrutiny.

Ms Kedgley said she was alarmed that the expert committee had unanimously recommended that New Zealand lift its ban on imports of beef and beef products from England last year, when 1900 new confirmed cases of BSE were discovered in England.

"On the basis of that advice how can we have confidence in this panel of experts?" Ms Kedgley said.

"I don't know where these officials receive their advice from, or whether they call upon independent expert advice from overseas. I do know that some of the answers I have received to parliamentary questions have been patronising, evasive and inadequate.

"I have a nagging worry about New Zealand getting it wrong on this - as British officials did - and under-estimate the risk of BSE to New Zealand," she said.

"Rather than relying on the judgement of a handful of officials who advise our Ministers, I believe what we must have in New Zealand is public and parliamentary scrutiny of our response to the BSE epidemic."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news