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Take a bow, MAF!

PRESS RELEASE Brian Connell, MP For Rakaia Spokesperson for Forestry

12 February 2004

Take a bow, MAF!

"Pine pitch canker is a grave danger to our forestry sector and MAF deserves the highest praise and support for their efforts to contain and detect it," commented Brian Connell, MP for Rakaia and National's Forestry spokesman.

His comments followed the announcement of by the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry (MAF) that it was increasing their safeguards to prevent pine pitch canker from becoming established in New Zealand.

"If Pine pitch canker gets established in New Zealand it will be a body blow to one of our top export industries," he warned. "I am delighted to see that MAF are taking it seriously and not resting on their laurels."

"Forestry has the clear potential to be our largest export earner within the next generation but that can only come about with continued vigilance from MAF. This is a good initiative and deserves ongoing resourcing and support from the Government."

"Forestry provides an eighth of our exports and indirectly provides more than 100,000 jobs for our country. Any measures to protect such a crucial component of our economy have National's complete support."


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