Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Snake Find Highlights Bigger Problem

The Forest and Bird Protection Society is calling for a major upgrade in the quarantine requirements for containers following the finding of a live poisonous snake in Petone. The snake is thought to have come into the country in a shipping container.

Forest and Bird's conservation director, Kevin Smith, said today that too many containers were contaminated with biological materials.

"The voracious painted apple moth which MAF is desperately trying to eradicate in Auckland almost certainly came into New Zealand by container."

"Like the Petone snake, it was found near a yard of shipping containers."

"Last year the dengue-fever spreading tiger mosquito was found in a tyre used as packing in a shipping container at Mt Maunganui."

Mr Smith said that despite the heightened awareness about the crucial importance of keeping alien pest species out of New Zealand, the quarantine conditions for some containers seemed to differ little from the quarantine conditions on the sailing ships of 150 years ago.

"The sailing ships delivered us rats and mice, today's containers bring insect pests, weeds and now snakes."

"This is a world-wide problem and New Zealand could take the lead by introducing tougher quarantine standards. Containers readily lend themselves to quarantine measures."

"The container exteriors can be easily water-blasted or steam-cleaned to get rid of external contaminants. The interior can be fumigated."

Mr Smith said New Zealand received over 350,000 sea containers a year.

"A MAF study showed that an estimated 39% of these containers were contaminated on the exterior with soil, plant and animal material."

"Despite this high rate of contamination MAF only have the resources to inspect about one in five containers."

"The Petone snake and the painted apple moth in Auckland reveal significant holes exist in New Zealand's border quarantine despite the best efforts of MAF Quarantine officers."

Mr Smith said the Petone snake find was the second time a live snake had been found in New Zealand in the last two years.

"Quarantine officers previously found a live snake in an imported used vehicle on the Wellington waterfront."

"Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs must send a strong message to overseas exporters that New Zealand will no longer tolerate having pest-contaminated containers, used vehicles and other goods sent to this country."

....... ends

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


"Clumsy Response To A Serious Issue": Treasury Head Was "Unreasonable" On Budget Breach

Outgoing Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf was "clumsy", unreasonable and fell "well short" of expectations in his handling of the Budget data breach, a government report has found.

The State Services Commission report was ordered in the fallout of Mr Makhlouf claiming Treasury's website had been "deliberately and systematically hacked" and referring the matter to police...

The Commission's report - released today - said Mr Makhlouf did not act reasonably in his use of the word "hacked" or his subsequent explanations to media. More>>


'Team' For Housing: Cabinet Reshuffled

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed the details of a Cabinet reshuffle that sees Kris Faafoi being promoted into Cabinet, Poto Williams made a Minister outside of Cabinet and a team put in place to advance the Government’s housing plan. More>>


'Increase Still Needed': Community Law's Interim Boost To Remain

Today’s Post-Budget announcement extending last year’s interim funding boost to Community Law services is the second step in honouring the Coalition Government Agreement to increase funding to Community Law. More>>


At Select Committee: WRC Blames Bus Troubles On City's Challenges

Wellington's Regional Council is blaming a perfect storm of new operators, buses, routes, driver shortages and design failures for the shambolic introduction of new bus services a year ago. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Public Service Reforms Don't Protect The Public

Reportedly, the legislation involved is to be called the Public Service Act, because… well, it seems that the notion of “public service” is back in vogue. More>>


Police: Excessive Force Used Breaking Up Party

The Authority found that one of the officers involved had used knee strikes during the arrest... this officer made concerning comments... to the effect that "it's about time some of these kids got what they deserved." More>>


Environment Accounts: NZ's Household Emissions Increasing

Household emissions of greenhouse gases increased 19.3 percent from 2007 to 2017, mainly due to rising emissions from road transport, Stats NZ said today. More>>


Legislation: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes Second Reading

Just 20 MPs had the opportunity to debate the bill and many shared personal stories of watching family members die in what was at times an emotional display in the House. More>>


Other Bills:

Principals Reject Offer: Primary Teachers Vote For Settlement

Primary teachers have voted to ratify a proposed settlement that will give them pay parity with their secondary colleagues, but disappointed primary principals have rejected a settlement that was unchanged from a previously rejected offer. More>>





InfoPages News Channels