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Moth pest inquiry squashed by Government

Moth pest inquiry squashed by Government

National is angered that Labour and United Members of Parliament today voted to block an inquiry into the botched management of the Painted Apple Moth saga.

"Biosecurity is crucial to the New Zealand economy, yet we are seeing one pest after another breach our borders," says National's Environment spokesperson, Nick Smith. "That MAF did nothing for more than two years after the Painted Apple Moth was first detected is a scandal.

"Labour and United MPs, by denying an inquiry, seem more interested in protecting officials and Ministers than in ensuring we have the very best standards of biosecurity and that public health is protected.

"It is particularly galling that United Future voted against the inquiry when they have previously said they would support one.

"Their argument that the Terms of Reference were not sufficiently strong in respect of the health effects of the spray could easily have been addressed by amending the Terms of Reference rather than opposing an inquiry.

"Labour's argument that an inquiry isn't required because MAF is undertaking an internal review is weak when everyone knows that a closed inquiry with no opportunity for public participation is very unlikely to get to the bottom of this mess," says Dr Smith.

The inquiry was supported by National, ACT, NZ First and the Green Party, but opposed by Labour and United Future.

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