Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Labour caught short on biosecurity

Shane Ardern
National Party Biosecurity Spokesman

7 October 2005

Labour caught short on biosecurity

Two biosecurity alarms within a month show that the Labour Government has failed to heed dire warnings made by the Auditor-General two years ago, says National’s Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern.

He is commenting on the advance of the didymo (‘rock snot’) algae through South Island rivers, and the discovery of the clubbed tunicate (‘sea squirt’) in Lyttelton and Auckland harbours.

“These invasive algae are a major concern, and show once again that this Government does not have the resources or the response capability to protect the New Zealand environment from outside threat.

“A report by the Auditor-General two years ago warned that New Zealand was vulnerable to imported pests and diseases because of gaps in biosecurity.

“It listed bungling and missed opportunities by MAF staff and confusion between and within government departments involving the southern saltmarsh mosquito, painted apple moth, red fire ant, black widow spiders, and the varroa bee mite.

“The fact is that despite those warnings, New Zealand is still not prepared to deal with pest and disease incursions that could seriously threaten our economy. Didymo could harm tourism by damaging our trout fishery, and sea squirt could threaten our $200 million mussel business.

“Didymo could have been restricted to Southland's Mararoa and Waiau Rivers if appropriate action had been taken immediately. This stuff can be killed, but unfortunately they have to kill the river for a few years to do it. But surely it would have been better to sacrifice one or two rivers than let it spread through the South Island.

“Instead of making the tough decisions, Labour goes off and talks with greenie scientists, and by the time they come up with options it’s too late. The Minister, Jim Sutton, talked all through the election campaign about how Labour had improved biosecurity but we can see by these two outbreaks that very little has changed,” Mr Ardern says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Sharma Chameleon


Gather round the camp-fire, folks. Let me tell you about the Ice Age era of the fourth Labour government, when mean, sabre-toothed tigers like Richard Prebble ranged at large within the Labour caucus. A being so mean and fierce that - legend has it – he once made Michael Cullen cry. So while Labour MP Dr Gaurav Sharma may (or may not) have suffered cruelly at the hands of his colleagues one thing is clear: former Labour whip Kieran McAnulty is no Richard Prebble. If you can be bullied by the likes of Kieran McAnulty, you might need to have your hand held while you cross the road in the political traffic...
More>>




 
 

National: Food Prices Climb Taking Kiwis Backwards
Kiwi families continue to battle runaway food prices, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says... More>>



Transport & Infrastructure: Have Your Say On The Future Of Inter-regional Passenger Rail In New Zealand

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee has opened an inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand. The aim of the inquiry is to find out what the future could hold for inter-regional passenger rail... More>>


National: Sam Uffindell Stood Down Pending Investigation
Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the National Party caucus pending an investigation into further allegations about his past behaviour, says National Party Leader Christopher Luxon... More>>



Government: Tax Break To Boost Long-term Rental Supply
The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax relief for as long as the homes are held as long-term rentals, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>


National: NZ Migrant Arrivals Hit Lowest Mark Since 1990s
Today’s net migration figures show that Labour has failed to deliver the desperately needed skilled migrants they promised, meaning labour shortages will persist into the future, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says... More>>


Green Party: Abuse Revelations Leave No Choice But To Overhaul RSE Scheme
The Green Party is calling on the Government to overhaul the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme in the wake of revelations of shocking human rights violations... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels