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Anderton ignorant about pest outbreak

Eric Roy MP
National Party Associate Sport & Recreation Spokesman

8 December 2005

Anderton ignorant about pest outbreak

Jim Anderton's simplistic response to Parliamentary questions over the didymo outbreak shows contempt and ignorance of the problem, says National Party Associate Sport and Recreation spokesman Eric Roy.

Mr Roy says the decision to make all of the South Island a controlled area in response to the didymo, or 'rock snot', outbreak comes 14 months too late.

"Didymo was discovered in the Mararoa and Lower Waiau rivers in October 2004," says Mr Roy.

"It wasn't till June 2005 that $835,000 - a paltry amount - was released for management. The rivers became controlled areas only on 19 August 2005. Restrictions were applied to whitebaiting four days after the start of the fishing season. It is a shocking waste of time."

Mr Roy says the announcement of the controlled area is a Band-Aid approach.

"Is Jim Anderton going to order Biosecurity NZ to take swabs off every fisherman's rod and tackle to make sure they aren't spreading the pest North? I don't think so.

"This announcement is an empty one - and one that will have little or no effect.

"Didymo is indicative of wider issues with our biosecurity response - or lack of it," says Mr Roy.

ENDS

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