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

 


Beware the black widow - Greens

Beware the black widow

Green Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today said New Zealanders should be on the lookout for poisonous spiders when handling Californian grapes after MAF agreed to allow both the grapes and the spiders back into New Zealand.

The import of Californian grapes was suspended in November 2001 after four live black widow spiders were found in New Zealand in three months.

In announcing the decision to resume the imports MAF Biosecurity Leader Christine Reed noted that 'We fully expect that new species, including exotic spiders, will still be detected in New Zealand from time to time'.

"The decision to allow the import of Californian grapes shows MAF is more concerned with trade than with protecting New Zealanders and our primary production," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"In announcing the decision to resume imports MAF are admitting more spiders will find their way here. They are putting this trade ahead of the very possible risks that New Zealanders could be bitten by these spiders or that they could become established here.

"I want to know what has changed since these imports were originally suspended - particularly in terms of the screening and fumigation process."

Mr Ewen-Street asked how many more live poisonous spiders would have to be found here before the trade was shut down for good.

"Our wine producers should also be very angry about this short-sighted decision. Californian vineyards have been decimated by the vine-killing Pierce's Disease. If this disease ever found its way here it could cripple our burgeoning wine industry.

"MAF's admission that they 'fully expect' to find spiders in these imports show how fanatical Government has become about trade. We are prepared to take unacceptable risks to both our people and our economy in order to keep our trading partners happy," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Since we banned the shipment of Californian table grapes we have sourced grapes from elsewhere. This seems to have been completely satisfactory. Why can we not continue to do the same?"

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news