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Biosecurity in tatters but does any Minister care?

Shane Ardern National Biosecurity Spokesperson

27 March 2002

Biosecurity in tatters but does any Minister care?

The Conservation Minister will find himself with a rapidly shrinking portfolio area if he doesn't do something to help fix New Zealand's abysmal biosecurity record, says National's Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern.

"In the absence of a Biosecurity Minister who seems more intent on tripping overseas than dealing with our tattered biosecurity, Conservation Minister Chris Carter should be putting the pressure on for much tighter border controls.

"Does he not realise that marine reserves and national parks are not exempt from foreign pest incursions - of which there've been nine reported in recent weeks?

"It's totally erroneous of the Associate Minister for Biosecurity to say that New Zealanders could have confidence in our biosecurity systems. They don't - and neither should her fellow Conservation Minister.

"Chris Carter should wake up to the fact that if the Government's not prepared to invest more time and resources in protecting our industries and native forests, there will soon be few areas of conservation left to manage," says Mr Ardern.


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