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MAF Spraying Eradicates Christmas Cheer

MAF Eradicates Christmas Cheer in West Auckland for the Second Year in a Row

Spray zone residents are up in arms over letters received yesterday from Dr Francesca Kelly, Aeraqua Medical Services Ltd - the providers of MAF's Painted Apple Moth Health "Service", stating that PAM health services were now closed in their area, and that aerial spraying had ended.

Meanwhile, MAF have stated they intend to continue to spray every 10 days until at least mid February with further sprays already scheduled for 29 December and 8 January. A review is to be carried out and a decision made in February by MAF's scientists on whether spraying will continue.

"MAF have obviously decided that Christmas cheer is an unwanted organism in west Auckland and are determined to eradicate it" Helen Wiseman-Dare, Chairperson, West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying said today.

"Last year MAF terrorised west Aucklanders by threatening them with $100,000 fines if they purchased their Christmas trees at the wrong location. This year they are pulling the plug on health services while erroneously stating that spraying is over".

"Hundreds of spray victims have been left without health support while MAF continues to spray. Coming as it does right on Christmas, this announcement leaves sufferers no opportunity to find alternative health support while creating maximum disruption and inconvenience for those who can least afford it".

By cutting off health support for hundreds of spray affected residents right on Christmas, MAF are demonstrating yet again, their callous indifference to the plight of those who have been left to pay the price of the government's inflexible eradication and failed biosecurity policies.

This government is determined to see aerial spraying become a routine feature of urban life (just like down on the farm) - while expecting residents to pay the price of protecting privately and mainly overseas owned forests.

The taxpayer has paid $90 million for the PAM plus ongoing health and relocation costs. With every new organism found the price continues to skyrocket.

It is time the forestry industry was expected to pay their share and contribute to keeping their forests free of organisms they deem unwanted.

_________________

Helen Wiseman-Dare Chairperson, WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying)

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