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Horticulture disappointed Budget ignores biosecurity

Media release

Horticulture New Zealand
24 May 2012

Horticulture disappointed Budget ignores biosecurity

Horticulture New Zealand is disappointed with the Government’s failure to take biosecurity seriously in today’s Budget, despite the recent brush with the potentially disastrous Queensland fruit fly.

HortNZ is looking for stronger investment in securing our borders.

Andrew Fenton, President of HortNZ, says: “We are extremely disappointed that the Government has failed to prioritise biosecurity and is failing to keep New Zealand’s borders safe.

“Any cost cutting at the border is short-sighted. It risks devastating our primary industries and tourism for years to come.

“The Government’s short-sighted ‘direct exit’ policy has allowed 2.1 million passengers to enter New Zealand unchecked in the last 18 months. That’s unacceptable to horticulture.

“For the last eight months, no sniffer dogs have been at Wellington airport and on average in excess of 50 international flights land there every week.

“The recent Queensland fruit fly scare shows just how vulnerable our borders are. The Government’s lax border security is putting New Zealand’s economy and Primary Industry at unnecessary risk.

“HortNZ and our 6000 growers will not stand for biosecurity to be ignored by government, any longer. We want action and we want it now before it’s too late.”

ENDS

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