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Second million dollar fly a biosecurity failure

Second million dollar fly a biosecurity failure

The discovery of a second Queensland fruit fly in Whangarei is a massive failure for New Zealand’s biosecurity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“The finding of a second fly in a trap in Parikaha, just 400m from where a fly was discovered in January, shows the Ministry of Primary Industries has failed to identify how these insects are getting into New Zealand.

“This fly is the fourth fruit fly to be found in New Zealand and shows a systemic problem which the Ministry has been unable to fix.

“At a cost to the taxpayer of $1 million dollars a fly, it would be better for the Government to invest more in front-line biosecurity prevention.

“There must now be a complete review of MPI’s response. If insufficient resources were put into the investigation into how these flies came into New Zealand, then the Ministry must change the way it approaches biosecurity incursions.

“Labour believes we need an independent biosecurity agency that is properly equipped and funded to handle this constant risk. This latest discovery reinforces this need.

“National’s squeeze on every area of government service is putting New Zealand’s entire primary industries economy at risk.

“Just today, it was announced the Government has cut $20 million from the Bio-Protection Research Centre.

“A Labour government will ensure there are enough biosecurity officers to protect New Zealand from these flies which can devastate our lucrative horticulture crops,” Damien O’Connor says.

ends

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