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

 


MFAT Needs Lesson On Biosecurity

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And Trade Needs Lesson On Biosecurity

Trade agreements must take better account of environmental issues, particularly imports of unwanted pests, says Forest and Bird.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is claiming that a proposed trade agreement with Hong Kong will not pose any increased environmental risks to New Zealand despite conceding that it has not done an environmental risk assessment.

On the 31 July, MFAT wrote to Forest and Bird stating “MFAT does not hold any environmental risk assessment of the proposed [Hong Kong trade] agreement”.

“MFAT stretches its credibility by claiming that the proposed Hong Kong - New Zealand free trade agreement will pose no environmental risks when it has not done an assessment,” said Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society researcher Geoff Keey.

“Trade agreements mean more trade, which means greater risk of pests and weeds coming into New Zealand,” said Geoff Keey. “Funding for protecting our borders needs to be increased in parallel with the development of trade agreements”.

The government is currently spending large amounts of money eradicating pests like the painted apple moth and southern saltmarsh mosquito.

“By far the best option is to prevent these pests from arriving here in the first place . That is why it is essential that the government properly assesses the risks associated with trade with places like Hong Kong,” said Geoff Keey.

“Proposals for trade agreements must consider environmental risks. A whole of Government approach is needed,” Geoff Keey said.

“It is hard to take MFAT seriously when it claims to be putting biosecurity first. So far, MFAT seems to have done very little,” Geoff Keey said.

ENDS
Notes

Forest and Bird made a submission on the proposed Hong Kong – New Zealand free trade agreement, raising concerns that increased trade flows under the agreement could result in an increased risk of invasion by pests and weeds.

In recent years a number of unwanted species have entered New Zealand as a result of trade. Often they have arrived as unwanted hitch-hikers on goods and shipping containers. Recent examples include:

- More than 10 snakes in the last 2 years,
- The varroa bee mite,
- Disease carrying mosquitoes (such as the southern saltmarsh mosquito and yellow fever mosquito),
- Major forestry pests (such as the Asian gypsy moth, white spotted tussock moth and painted apple moth),
- Scorpions.

Introduced pests and weeds currently cost New Zealand around 1% of our GDP (New Zealand Conservation Authority June 1999.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news