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Terrifying Young Children Unacceptable - Carter

Terrifying Young Children Unacceptable

Te Atatu MP Chris Carter is to seek an urgent meeting with Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton to discuss the spraying of thousands of school children during the painted apple moth eradication programme.

Mr Carter said he had received many calls from teachers and parents complaining that children had been terrified by the programme's low-flying plane and the spray.

"I understand that MAF have no choice but to spray. The apple moth is such a menace that the consequences of not doing so are worse than any problems that might arise from spraying," Mr Carter said.

"But that does not mean it is acceptable to spray over children in play grounds or on their way to and from school if it can be avoided," Mr Carter said.

"It is no surprise that there was a state of near hysteria at some schools yesterday."

"While I am confident this spray is safe, I am worried that the children of West Auckland are being distressed and upset. I will be talking to Jim Sutton about this and I will be seeking an assurance that the sensitivities of children are recognised.

He said he would also be seeking a meeting with the MAF spray team and the local Principal's Association to discuss the situation.

One of the features of the campaign against the painted apple moth had been its poor public relations, he said.

"I live in the spray area, I know that local families are upset and I don't want this to ever happen to our children again."


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