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Painted Apple Moth Vegetation Restrictions

Painted Apple Moth Vegetation Restrictions

Ian Ewen-Street Parliamentary Question

MAF's new vegetation restrictions in the painted apple moth zone in Auckland have come 3.5 years too late, Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today.

"MAF has known about the painted apple moth infestation for 3.5 years, but the action they have taken has been a case of too little too late. Vegetation restrictions were first mooted about a year ago, but MAF has dragged the chain - only now making them compulsory," Mr Ewen-Street said.

"It also seems draconian to impose the threat of fines of up to $100,000* or imprisonment on a community already stressed by the health impacts of repeated aerial spraying of the chemical cocktail Foray 48B.

"The Minister of Biosecurity should discipline the MAF officials whose early attempts to eradicate the moth were unsuccessful, given that the Auditor-General's report on biosecurity was critical of their performance," Mr Ewen-Street said.

"The Minister should also convene an independent inquiry into the health effects of the spray."

Mr Ewen-Street will be asking parliamentary question number 7 today on the subject, as follows:

IAN EWEN-STREET to the Minister for Biosecurity: Why has a period of three and a half years elapsed between the first discovery of the painted apple moth in West Auckland and the introduction by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of a Vegetation Control Zone under the Biosecurity Act 1993?

[Media note: The painted apple moth advisory line advises that the maximum fine available for those breaching the Vegetation Control Zone is $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for corporations.

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