INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minister must take blame for bee fiasco

Published: Tue 25 Jul 2000 05:49 PM
"If Marian Hobbs had any doubters before, they've all been won over by her handling of the varroa bee mite incursion. It's now unanimous that she's a bungling idiot.
National's Biosecurity Spokesman David Carter says the snap debate today on bee mites made it clear Ms Hobbs was never in control. "She bumbled, played for time and ended up surrendering to a bee mite. That's a shameful performance on such an important issue.
"You can't blame her for the incursion - but similar infestations such as the Tussock Moth, Asian Gypsy Moth and various varieties of Fruit Fly were managed by the previous Government to the point of eradication.
"For eradication to work you need a competent and dedicated Minister of Biosecurity. Marian Hobbs has shown she shouldn't be trusted with a can of fly spray, let alone the security of our borders," David Carter said.
National's Agriculture Spokesman Gavan Herlihy says the ministers vacillation and reluctance to take charge cost valuable time, allowing the chances of eradication to grow slimmer.
"Even in the end, when the Government decided against eradication, there was a strong argument that it would have been better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all.
"She ignored the collective voices of the Beekeepers Association, Federated Farmers and the New Zealand Fruitgrowers Federation, who pleaded with the Government to attempt eradication.
"By her actions, and her inaction, Marian Hobbs has failed New Zealand agriculture and its farmers who are still the backbone of our economy," Gavan Herlihy says.
Ends

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