Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


National leaves biosecurity unprotected

8 August 2005

National leaves biosecurity unprotected

Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton today challenged the National Party to ring-fence biosecurity funding from proposed state sector funding cuts.

Mr Sutton said it was ironic that the National Party was calling for a "standing army" to combat any potential foot and mouth outbreaks, while at the same time, talking about cutting state sector funding that would reduce biosecurity funding.

"These things just can't happen in a funding vacuum.

"The Labour-Progressive Government has increased baseline biosecurity funding by about 60 per cent since we became Government in December 1999. We've made screening of air passengers and crew 100 per cent, we've put soft-tissue x-ray machines at all international airports, and we've increased staffing at airports and in head office to ensure that vulnerabilities can be plugged."

Mr Sutton said the select committee report failed to take into account that a foot and mouth disease outbreak was a crisis event.

"We may not have enough veterinarians to deal with an outbreak on the mainland ? that's why we have agreements with trading partners such as Australia and Britain to send vets here to help, as ours did in Britain four years ago.

"In any event, this Government is concentrating on boosting border control measures to ensure that risk material doesn't enter the country in the first place."

Mr Sutton said the Government was not complacent on biosecurity, and was continually working to improve its systems, as its actions over the past five years showed.

"I challenge opposition parties to do the same, and to confirm they will ringfence biosecurity from any state sector funding cuts."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election