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Campaigners Call on MAF Scientists to Front Up

Anti Spray Campaigners Call on MAF Scientists to Front Up

WASP has joined with a coalition of Auckland anti spray groups in calling on MAF scientists and officials to front up at a public meeting to explain to the community why spraying is still continuing for the Painted Apple Moth despite no finds having been made for at least 6 months.

The Meola Creek area has had no finds since December last year, yet spraying is set to continue every 21 days until February and probably longer. Some areas are due to receive aerial sprays every 8 days.

The Tussock moth spraying in east Auckland 6 years ago was halted as soon as no further moths were found.

MAF are also gearing up for a new aerial spray campaign for the Fall Webworm moth over Mt Wellington and east Auckland.

In continuing to aerial spray MAF are hiding behind the decisions of a group of faceless scientists.

A letter was sent last week to Peter Thomson, Director of Forest Biosecurity, MAF requesting an urgent public meeting so MAF scientists and technical staff can answer the community's questions on the rationale behind the continued use of this extreme eradication tool.

We are still awaiting a reply.

Spraying is next scheduled for December 1 and 9. Phone the MAF Hotline on 0800 969696 to check whether aerial spraying is going ahead on these days. Be aware: MAF are denying they intend to spray on the 9th ie: every 8 days. The details of this were published in a Public Notice in the NZ Herald 14 November. The next spray on Dec 1 comes less than 2 weeks after the previous one.

Permanent Evacuations We are hearing of more and more people selling up and leaving Auckland permanently to get away from the spray. We would especially like to farewell Jane who has worked tirelessly on the legal side of the anti spray campaign. Thank you for all your hard work and lobbying Jane and especially for your role in getting the legal opinion from Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

Health Issues Genetic Damage: After 2 years of aerial spraying more and more reports are coming in of extremely high numbers of babies being born in west Auckland with hare lips and cleft palates. West Auckland also has an unusually high number of cases of a very rare brittle bone disease with at least one baby currently fighting for life. We are also hearing of high numbers of stillbirths, miscarriages and other birth problems. Many reports are being received of children suffering from serious allergies, skin and stomach problems they have never had before. People are still being hospitalised with severe asthma. We know of hundreds who are still being evacuated by MAF to motels each spray. Our thoughts go out to Lynn whose husband is in hospital with meningitis and whose mother, also in the spray zone, has been admitted to hospital with a heart attack. There have been other reports of cases of meningitis in the aerial spray zone and meningococcal disease was considered in MAF's Health Surveillance report following the east Auckland Tussock Moth spraying.

ACC Claims A number of people (mainly with no pre-existing conditions) have had their ACC claims accepted for spray related illness. We have also heard that several of the spray plane pilots have suffered health effects and have also had ACC claims accepted. You may want to revisit your doctor and ask them to press your case.

Flesh eating disease: Further to the earlier reported case of the Henderson man who developed this after cutting himself whilst gardening, we have heard of 2 more people in the spray zone, one of whom lost a finger. Both cases contracted this from gardening. Do you use Zoo Doo compost? A number of birds died after the first spray over the zoo and two valuable white rhinos have since died from a "soil bacterium". Also a mother gibbon uncharacteristically killed one of its twin babies earlier this year and tried to kill the other. Apparently this is unheard of - only the male gibbon is known to kill its offspring. On "The Zoo" TV programme a young lion had a cancerous lump removed from its forehead and an orangutan and its baby died. The mother died of "septicaemia". Cancer cases: We have been told of a 7% increase in cancer cases in Auckland this year - thought to be due to the spray's effects on the immune system.

Quote of the Month Martin Elliott, Principal Fraser High School, Hamilton (Waikato Times 4.11.03): "When I employ staff I don't actually ask them whether they are allergic to moth spray! A senior Maf official told me that he thought that our eight serious cases were an aberration: "It was like contagious paranoia where people feed off the psychology of the propaganda spread by the anti-spray brigade." It took a lot of my self control not to reach across the table and yank his testicles out through his throat."

Website of the Month www.mef.co.nz Check out this brilliant new Hamilton anti spray website. It will provide you with more than a laugh or two. It started life as maf.co.nz but MAF threatened legal action. Especially check out "A Lighter Side". Read all about Ivan Box (as in gear box) and the evil Peat Khan-(as in Genghis Khan)-Pie (as in Pecan Pie). PLUS the goings on at Aer'gate with Drs Baddie and Frankly Smelly who may sound vaguely familiar.

Peter Thomson (Ian Gear's boss) from MAF Head Office in Wgtn has been spending a lot of time in Hamilton observing the spray programme. Funny he has never dared show his face in the Auckland spray zone. You might like to phone his office in Wgtn on 04 474 4100 or phone his boss - Murray Sherwin on 04 474 4231 and invite them to morning tea in your garden on spray day.

Two Hamilton Bishops - David Moxon (Anglican) and Denis Browne (Roman Catholic) issued a press release on the first day of spraying raising their concerns for people's health, particularly that of children.

Human Rights - Have your Say Now The NZ Human Rights Commission is gathering information from the public concerning their views on the status of human rights in NZ. (Human rights? What human rights?) See http://www.hrc.co.nz/index.php?p=23960 for the On-Line Questionnaire due in by November 30. People can also make a submission by letter. This forms an important part of their first round of public consultations. They are looking for evaluations on how people presently feel NZ is doing on human rights issues, what recommendations they have for improvements, what issues should receive priority status etc. They are going to use this for their submission to the government recommending possible changes and new directions for the future development of human rights in NZ. This document and its processes are also being followed by the United Nations Council on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Faceless Mad Scientists and MAFia Here is a list of some of those responsible for the decisionmaking behind the continuation of aerial spraying. You might like to send them a Christmas message thanking them for yet another spray filled Christmas and New Year. You might like to tell them exactly what their decisions have cost you and your family. You could even send them a bill for all your medical and relocation expenses or just tell them what you think of them. Just highlight, copy and paste all these into the To: field of a blank email.

David.baird@agresearch.co.nz; Stephen.goldson@agresearch.co.nz; travis.glare@agresearch.co.nz; Blackbournk@agriquality.co.nz; HigganQ@agriquality.co.nz; isbisterr@agriquality.co.nz; WiklundC@agriquality.co.nz; Shix@arc.govt.nz; Rudd@Bugman.co.nz; Don.h@clear.net.nz; Sreay@clear.net.nz; Cgreen@doc.govt.nz; rgarthwaite@doc.govt.nz; Ross.morgan@foresthealth.co.nz; Brian.Richardson@forestresearch.co.nz; john.bain@forestresearch.co.nz; Nod.kay@forestresearch.co.nz; Abarrington@hortresearch.co.nz; Jcharles@hortresearch.co.nz; Msuckling@hortresearch.co.nz; framptonr@jebby.co.nz; baddeleyc@maf.govt.nz; BejakovichD@maf.govt.nz; flynna@maf.govt.nz; geari@maf.govt.nz; heather.lawson@maf.govt.nz; kettlep@maf.govt.nz; richmondj@maf.govt.nz; peterb@nzwood.co.nz; John.ray@xtra.co.nz; whitep@maf.govt.nz; olsens@maf.govt.nz; karl.check@maf.govt.nz; sangsterb@maf.govt.nz; sherwinm@maf.govt.nz

These were originally members of MAF's Painted Apple Moth Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The name was later changed to the Science Advisory Group (SAG). Shortly after I received this in my Inbox:

"Poor little science members of the old Painted Apple Moth Technical Advisory Group ... when it was changed to the Science Advisory Group they went from TAG members to SAG members. All that active tagging became sad and sagging. Well what can you do with a sagging one after all?

Well they've solved all that .... Ian Gear changed the name . . . the testosterone levels have been restored ... they are now called STAG!!! (Science and Technical Advisory Group) yippee .... get out there and blast them, zap them, stamp the beasties out ... we are big strong stags, and all will bow down before us."

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