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Govt biosecurity policy risks nation's health

Shane Ardern National Biosecurity Spokesman

28 January 2004

Govt biosecurity policy risks nation's health

Today's discovery of the Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito in Whangaparaoa Peninsula mocks the Government's biosecurity initiatives, says National's Biosecurity spokesman Shane Ardern.

He says last November Labour claimed it had successfully eliminated the Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito from Kaipara and Gisborne/Napier regions. But the latest discovery shows that the $37 million Labour spent on eradication was wasted, as its border controls are failing to stop further incursions.

"How many more millions will we spend on eradication and surveillance, when better border control and more money spent at the battlefront would eliminate the necessity for clean-up programmes?

The Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito is a health risk for humans as it carries the Ross River Virus - which can cause dizziness, headaches, aching limbs, severe depression or arthritis.

"The Government is placing New Zealanders at risk with their sloppy attitude towards biosecurity protection," says Mr Ardern.


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