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Is New Zealand Ready For Anthrax?

Monday 15 Oct 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases –

"The Prime Minister is employing delaying tactics to avoid answering a number of questions I have asked about the Government's and the country's readiness for any outbreak of Anthrax, or other forms of bio-terrorism" ACT MP Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The questions I have asked the Prime Minister and other Ministers are now overdue. They should have been answered last Wednesday. I understand all the questions have now been referred to the Prime Minister. I was promised replies today, but still have not received them.

"This is an issue of growing concern to citizens everywhere, more-so because of the recent outbreaks of Anthrax in the United States. It is clear from the actions today of NZ Post staff that people are worried. Just because New Zealand is isolated, it doesn't mean we can be complacent.

"I have read in newspaper reports the United States Embassy in Wellington is stockpiling anthrax medication. That makes the answers to my questions even more urgent. The public have a right to know just what the Prime Minister and the Government are doing about these new threats to national security.

"The Prime Minister should be addressing these concerns immediately. If the country is not well prepared for any cases of Anthrax, the public deserves to know. If we are not well prepared then we should get prepared," Dr Newman said.

ATTACHED: WRITTEN PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

13807. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Minister of Defence: In the event of a germ or chemical warfare attack on New Zealand, what plans are in place to administer antidotes?

13808. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Minister in charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service: In the event of a germ or chemical warfare attack on New Zealand, what plans are in place to administer antidotes?

13809. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Minister in charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service: Does she feel that New Zealand is exposed in any way to the prospect of chemical or germ warfare: if so, what steps are being taken to protect New Zealand citizens from these threats?

13810. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Minister of Defence: Does he feel that New Zealand is exposed in any way to the prospect of chemical or germ warfare; if so, what steps are being taken to protect New Zealand citizens from these threats?

13811. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Minister of Civil Defence: Does he feel that New Zealand is exposed in any way to the prospect of chemical or germ warfare; if so, what steps are being taken to protect New Zealand citizens from these threats?

13812. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Minister of Civil Defence: What is the state of New Zealand's preparedness in the event of a germ, biological or chemical warfare attack, and, in particular, what is the extent of the supplies of known antidotes for: anthrax, botulism, smallpox, plague, mustard gas, sarin, and VX?

13813. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Minister of Defence: What is the state of New Zealand's preparedness in the event of a germ, biological or chemical warfare attack, and, in particular, what is the extent of the supplies of known antidotes for: anthrax, botulism, smallpox, plague, mustard gas, sarin, and VX?

13814. Dr MURIEL NEWMAN to the Prime Minister: What is the state of New Zealand's preparedness in the event of a germ, biological or chemical warfare attack, and, in particular, what is the extent of the supplies of known antidotes for: anthrax, botulism, smallpox, plague, mustard gas, sarin, and VX?


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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