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National Party Biosecurity Spokesman

Shane Ardern MP - National Party Biosecurity Spokesman

18 March 2005

Redback Incursion Shows Labour’s Slackness

The discovery of live Redback spiders in an imported car from Australia shows yet again Labour’s slack stance on biosecurity issues, says National’s Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern.

He is commenting on reports that a large quantity of Redbacks were found in a car in an Auckland auto yard after it had already passed through MAF quarantine.

“The biggest threat to our economy is a biosecurity incursion, yet still we are not adequately protecting our borders,” says Mr Ardern.

“Imported vehicles pose a high risk and priority should be given to ensuring they are pest-free before they leave the quarantine area.

“Vehicle checking procedures are deplorable and Labour must be able to guarantee that vehicles do not carry anything that could endanger our ecosystem or primary products.

“Also unacceptable is the delay in responding to the emergency discovery. Passing the blame onto contractors is not good enough; the responsibility lies with MAF.

“Why does Labour continue to allow incursions to freely enter our shores and gamble on New Zealand’s future?

“National understands that biosecurity is a major issue and will give it the priority it deserves,” says Mr Ardern.

ENDS


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