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Green Biosecurity Policy Sets The Standard

25 July 2002

Green Biosecurity Policy Sets The Standard

Green Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today said the Green biosecurity policy was by far the strongest and most comprehensive of all the political parties.

"The Greens have worked hard to improve New Zealand's biosecurity, both through raising awareness of biosecurity gaps - particularly in the area of sea containers - that need closing and by investing millions of dollars through Green Budget initiatives into boosting our border controls," said Mr Ewen-Street.

The Greens have worked hard on biosecurity issues such as calling for an inquiry into MAF's handling of the painted apple moth incursion, successfully arguing for a ban on the import of Californian table grapes, arguing strongly for eradication of the varroa bee mite and pointing out the threat to our viticulture from the glassy winged sharpshooter.

"The Greens believe biosecurity must be our main defence priority and it must not be compromised by the pressure for free trade with other countries," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Green biosecurity policy commits to:

* Developing a faster response mechanism to biosecurity incursions when they are discovered, including the creation of an emergency response fund;
* Continuing and expanding the public awareness biosecurity programme which the Greens secured in recent budgets;
* Making those responsible for biosecurity incursions pay for dealing with them;
* Developing automatic six-sided inspection and cleaning for all incoming sea containers along with x-ray inspection of interiors of containers coming from origins of risk.

"We recognise that a biosecurity incursion such as Foot and Mouth or BSE could cripple this country's economy almost overnight and the Greens are committed to making sure this never happens," he said.

"It is no good thinking 'it will never happen to us'. We have to have the systems in place to guarantee it."

Ends

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