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Ardern calls for biosecurity shake-up

Shane Ardern MP
National Party Biosecurity Spokesman
18 July 2006

Ardern calls for biosecurity shake-up

A major shake-up of biosecurity is needed, National’s Biosecurity spokesman Shane Ardern told the Beekeepers National Association Conference today.

In opening the conference, Mr Ardern said beekeepers have already been hit hard by the Varroa Bee Mite in the North Island and now with news it has reached the South Island.

“There needs to be a major shake-up in biosecurity. We need to have a structure where decisions are made quickly. At the moment, we wait for Biosecurity NZ to make its recommendations to the Minister, who then has to pass these to Cabinet.

“Jim Anderton has seen fit to not make this a priority, so vital time is wasted when eradication programmes could have been put in place. It is not good enough.”

Mr Ardern says the latest announcement by the Government to allow imported honey from Australia, which could have a disastrous effect on our pastoral and horticultural industries, was another severe blow.

“It was criminal to go ahead with this when the Auditor-General had just released a report which slammed Biosecurity NZ and their management of import health standards on container checks.

“My biggest concern is that there is a belief within the Government that with increased trade, incursions are inevitable and we will just have to live with them.

“I disagree that we should just give up on keeping our country free of pests.

“The beekeeping industry is facing many challenges and their success in overcoming these challenges will affect all of us - those in the primary industries and the rest of New Zealand.”

ENDS

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