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No spraying on first day of school, says Baldock

No spraying on first day of school, says Baldock

United Future MP Larry Baldock is calling for MAF to alter its painted apple moth spraying programme so children won’t miss their first day of school for 2003.

After meeting this week with a representative group of West Aucklanders affected by the Painted Apple Moth Aerial Spraying programme, Mr Baldock said he was very concerned about the way MAF officials were handling the situation. MAF plans to resume spraying next Tuesday, a day many school open their doors for the year.

“Perhaps nothing highlights this concern more at this point than the fact that MAF plan to begin spraying on the first day of school for many of West Auckland’s school children.

“With the numbers of children being affected by the spraying continuing to rise, a significant group of children will miss the first day of the school year.

“Families and individuals already have to cope with many disruptions to their normal lives,” Mr Baldock, United Future’s environment and conservation spokesman, said.

The party’s local electorate committee organised a meeting for Mr Baldock with local residents and members of the Waitemata City Council so he could hear their concerns first hand.

“This was my second visit to West Auckland to try and gauge whether the spray programme was being managed properly to mitigate the inconvenience as much as possible. I heard from one family that have to get up at 4am on spray days to relocate out of the area, as well as businessmen who are losing significant income, and men and women who have lost jobs as well as their health.

“Surely it is possible to accommodate such a simple request as waiting a few days till after school has settled down as a gesture of good will to the community, Mr Baldock said.

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