Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


Thank Goodness For Otago University

Thank Goodness For Otago University

National Party Associate Conservation spokesman Eric Roy has praised researchers at the University of Otago for their discovery that the larvae of some native insects may feed on didymo, the invasive pest clogging southern waterways.

“At last we have people dealing with the issue, unlike the bureaucrats in Wellington who sat on their hands for over a year holding meetings about this huge problem,” Mr Roy said.

“It is refreshing and heartening to know the University researchers are helping to find solutions, rather than being tardy and pessimistic like Biosecurity NZ.”

Mr Roy has been critical of the Biosecurity response to didymo, particularly the 14 months it took the Government to make the South Island a controlled area.

“Didymo is indicative of wider issues with our biosecurity response. I am concerned at the ability of the Government to act quickly on matters that affect our flora and fauna, not to mention our primary industries,” he said.

Mr Roy said the announcement that the clover root weevil had been discovered near Christchurch, the threat of European foulbrood bacteria being introduced to New Zealand beehives now that MAF was considering allowing the importation of foreign honey, the spread of the Argentine Ant as far south as Taranaki, and the arrival of huntsman spiders in Christchurch all showed that New Zealand’s biosecurity net was full of holes.

“These are just the tip of the iceberg. On a recent trip to the USA, I saw firsthand the effects of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer. Huntsman spiders are a drop in the bucket compared to the effects CWD would have on our deer industry,” he said.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world exporting produce that does not have prions – infectious proteins that cause outbreaks such as Mad Cow Disease – in the food chain. Given our dire Biosecurity record in recent times – and it appears to be getting worse – one can only hope those researchers at the University of Otago keep going to find cures for nasties that should have never come here in the first place,” Mr Roy said.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Climate Change Threatens Cricket‘s Future

Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else and complaining that he's inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” - which is how most of us would describe his own coalition agreements, 100-Day Plan, and backdated $3 billion handout to landlords. More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.