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Minister To Blame For Bee-Mite Spread

3 September 2002

Minister To Blame For Bee-Mite Spread

Slack decision-making by former Biosecurity Minister, Marian Hobbs is the reason the Wellington region is now permanently infested with the varroa bee-mite, says National's Agriculture spokesman, David Carter.

"It's more than two years since the bee-mite was first discovered, yet for months Marian Hobbs did nothing but call for reports. Any chance of eradicating the disease was lost to bungling incompetence.

"The Minister went on to declare that beekeepers in the top half of the North Island would have to live with the disease, but that a spread south would be controlled by MAF restrictions.

"The unlikelihood of this happening was recognised by all but the hapless Marian Hobbs.

"The whole of the North Island is now infected with the bee-mite. The question now is how long before it reaches the South Island?" asked Mr Carter.

Ends

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