Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

MFAT Needs Lesson On Biosecurity

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And Trade Needs Lesson On Biosecurity

Trade agreements must take better account of environmental issues, particularly imports of unwanted pests, says Forest and Bird.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is claiming that a proposed trade agreement with Hong Kong will not pose any increased environmental risks to New Zealand despite conceding that it has not done an environmental risk assessment.

On the 31 July, MFAT wrote to Forest and Bird stating “MFAT does not hold any environmental risk assessment of the proposed [Hong Kong trade] agreement”.

“MFAT stretches its credibility by claiming that the proposed Hong Kong - New Zealand free trade agreement will pose no environmental risks when it has not done an assessment,” said Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society researcher Geoff Keey.

“Trade agreements mean more trade, which means greater risk of pests and weeds coming into New Zealand,” said Geoff Keey. “Funding for protecting our borders needs to be increased in parallel with the development of trade agreements”.

The government is currently spending large amounts of money eradicating pests like the painted apple moth and southern saltmarsh mosquito.

“By far the best option is to prevent these pests from arriving here in the first place . That is why it is essential that the government properly assesses the risks associated with trade with places like Hong Kong,” said Geoff Keey.

“Proposals for trade agreements must consider environmental risks. A whole of Government approach is needed,” Geoff Keey said.

“It is hard to take MFAT seriously when it claims to be putting biosecurity first. So far, MFAT seems to have done very little,” Geoff Keey said.

ENDS
Notes

Forest and Bird made a submission on the proposed Hong Kong – New Zealand free trade agreement, raising concerns that increased trade flows under the agreement could result in an increased risk of invasion by pests and weeds.

In recent years a number of unwanted species have entered New Zealand as a result of trade. Often they have arrived as unwanted hitch-hikers on goods and shipping containers. Recent examples include:

- More than 10 snakes in the last 2 years,
- The varroa bee mite,
- Disease carrying mosquitoes (such as the southern saltmarsh mosquito and yellow fever mosquito),
- Major forestry pests (such as the Asian gypsy moth, white spotted tussock moth and painted apple moth),
- Scorpions.

Introduced pests and weeds currently cost New Zealand around 1% of our GDP (New Zealand Conservation Authority June 1999.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Roe v Wade Aftermath


Now that the right of US women to abortion (formerly protected by Roe v Wade) has been abolished, the important role of medication-induced abortion will come even more to the fore. Already, research by the Guttmacher Institute reproductive rights centre shows that over half of US abortions are obtained by medication. According to the US Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organisation, the abortion pills can be safely self-administered at home within the first ten weeks of pregnancy, rather than via a surgical procedure carried out in a bricks-and-mortar abortion clinic...
More>>



 
 


Winston Peters: Issues Judicial Review Proceedings

Winston Peters has issued judicial review proceedings against Speaker of the House the Rt Honourable Trevor Mallard, challenging Mr Mallard’s issue of a trespass warning against Mr Peters on 28 April 2022, which the Speaker then withdrew on 4 May 2022... More>>

Government: Electoral Changes Will Bring Greater Transparency For Voters

Changes to electoral law announced by Justice Minister Kiri Allan today aim to support participation in parliamentary elections, and improve public trust and confidence in New Zealand’s electoral system... More>>


Parliament: Grounds Fully Reopened

Parliament’s grounds have been fully reopened today at a ceremony and community event with mana whenua, members of the public, and representatives of Parliament... More>>


NZ Republic: Charles CHOGM Speech Green Light For Change
“Prince Charles had made it clear in his speech to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda today that even the Royal family think it’s time for change” said Lewis Holden, campaign chair of New Zealand Republic... More>>


National: Goodfellow To Retire As Party President
Peter Goodfellow today announced he will not seek re-election as President of the National Party at its Annual Conference. Mr Goodfellow will remain as a director on the board for one final term to assist in the transition... More>>

Police: Parliament Occupation Investigators Seek Public Assistance
Police investigating criminal activity on the final day of the occupation at Parliament grounds earlier this year are appealing for the public’s help to identify 15 people... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels