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WASP Update

Sun, 28 Jul 2002


A big thank you to all of you who helped my campaign by delivering my election flyers. As my house was in the new spray zone for the last spray it was necessary to evacuate, which meant I wasn't able to do as much campaigning as I would have liked. As it was my husband became very ill when he returned. Although I was not elected I will continue to fight against the aerial spraying and do everything in my power to get it stopped.

You can help by getting your doctor to speak out in your support by phoning the editor of the Western Leader. He is very keen to hear from GPs of patients who have been adversely affected by the spray.

You can also help by emailing me your stories, if you have not already done so.

We are continuing to pursue legal action.

Our last demonstration in Wellington the other week outside Jim Sutton's office went well. We got some coverage in the Wellington paper and on Radio NZ news. Individuals from the 1080 Action Group, the Safe Food Group as well as the Leader of the Outdoor Recreation Party, lent their support. Jim Sutton sent down a security guard to clear us out of the lobby onto the footpath and to tell us that Jim refused to meet with us. He has also refused to submit our Petition to Parliament on the grounds that it is worded incorrectly. He has instead sent it to MAF. We will be starting a new Petition shortly.

We also had a protest at one of the Wellington Central candidates' meetings where Marion Hobbs (Minister for the Environment) was in attendance.

We have strong reason to believe that the main reason that Jim is continuing with the spraying is because Asian forestry investors have threatened to pull out of a $40 million deal with Fletcher Challenge Forests if the moth is not dealt to.

In other words, it would appear that Asian forestry investors are holding this country to ransom.

During the last spray Oratia Primary was sprayed over while children were eating their morning tea in the playground. The school had not been notified. Neither had the residents of nearby Seymour Rd when they were sprayed, or the residents of Seabrook Ave in New Lynn or Bruce MacLaren Road in Henderson.

Every spray reports come in of residents and schools being sprayed without being notified or after having been told they were not in the spray zone.

Moira Burdan of MAF rang all those on the Health Register and told them that this was the last time they would be notified as there were too many of them. And after Jim had just secretly given MAF another $12 million of our money to carry on spraying. What exactly have they spent the $23 million of taxpayers' money they have had so far on, do you think? Definately not on health care for the spray victims.

If you're lucky you'll be offered breakfast at the Green Bay Community Centre on spray day and then sent home later in the day to your spray filled house. This is their idea of health care.

Also, MAF's doctor has been trying very hard (but unsuccessfully) to talk people into believing their health symptoms from the spray are all in their minds, or caused by anxiety, stress or in at least one case - grieving for a lost child. She has tried to send people to counsellors and has even had the gall to send a counsellor around to one of the people that MAF has actually paid to evacuate.

People are still getting letters from Helen Clark saying the spray is safe. MAF's doctor has "categorically" stated that the spray causes no long term health effects. The fact that no testing has ever been done to prove its long term safety doesn't seem to come into it.

I have recently heard reports of elderly residents dying of respiratory complications since the start of spraying plus a number of miscarriages, some in the same street. Also multiple house sales in a number of streets in the spray zone.

The government is meeting in August to decide on the future of the spray programme. Please keep up the pressure, especially on the newly elected Labour MPs.

Helen Wiseman-Dare Independent Candidate for Te Atatu Chairperson, WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying)

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