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Biosecurity woefully inadequate

Shane Ardern National Biosecurity Spokesman

11 March 2003

Biosecurity woefully inadequate

New Zealanders should be increasingly concerned about the shambolic state of our country's border controls, according to National Party Biosecurity spokesman Shane Ardern.

"We've already seen seemingly unstoppable invasions by the Varroa bee mite and the painted apple moth.

"Often we hear stories about the unexplained arrival of poisonous spiders or other alien invaders and most recently we've discovered aphids infesting our lettuce crops.

"What was once a minor irritant to our economy, is fast becoming a major threat to our delicate agricultural balance," Mr Ardern says.

"Have we learnt nothing from the painted apple moth and the astronomical costs associated with its eradication?

"Our biosecurity controls are woefully inadequate when it comes to checking containers from overseas and reacting to incursions when first notified.

"Report after report has been written on the threat posed by these alien invaders, but the time's now come to say enough's enough," says Mr Ardern.

"We want action, not more paper work - because the sad fact is that many of these border breaches can now never be reversed.

"Let's tighten up the borders, eradicate the pests and protect our primary industries.

"Until the Labour Government gets serious, New Zealand's clean green image will be put at risk by the continued mismanagement of our border controls," Mr Ardern says.


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