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Cough Up For Termite Damage - Greens

27 November 2001

Green Party MP Ian Ewen-Street said today the Government's refusal to pay for termite damage to Otorohanga homes was the culmination of an 11 year nightmare for residents.

Biosecurity spokesperson Mr Ewen-Street said Government should have followed the recommendation of the Local Government and Environment select committee to give ex gratia payments to the residents.

The Green MP said he believed the residents were owed something because the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry had failed to resolve the problem for so long.

"On at least two occasions, MAF promised the residents that the problem was solved but the termites kept reappearing. This was not a one-off problem of a biosecurity breach, but a systemic failure by MAF.

"The residents have suffered financial losses as their houses dropped in value, and emotional distress as the problem has dragged on and on and on."

Mr Ewen-Street said all New Zealanders should take note that they were on their own when it came to biosecurity breaches.

"The Government has made it clear once again, as they did when they failed to mount an eradication programme for varroa, that they take very little financial responsibility for biosecurity disasters."

Ends


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