National Party Biosecurity Spokesman
3 November 2005
Alarm at wait-and-see on biosecurity
National’s Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern, says the primary production sector should be very worried by the
Clark/Peters Government’s sit-and-wait attitude to pest incursions.
“It is vital that when an incursion is discovered we contain it and immediately work on eradication. It took this
Government five years to implement a Varroa Bee Mite strategy and we are still counting the costs not only to the
industry but also to New Zealand.
“To do this we need to have a strategy and an agreement on costs between the Government and the affected industry.
“For Mr Anderton to be saying we cannot have a pest management strategy before incursions occur is crazy. The fact is
that legally we can have such strategies set up, as we do with foot-and-mouth, or is he saying that is illegal?
“Our own internationally recognised expert, Professor Roger Morris, is setting up strategies in other countries, and we
must do the same.
“It makes economic sense to spend money on border control, and have plans in case something gets through. Mr Anderton is
in the dark ages if he thinks the best strategy is to sit and wait.
“Scientists have warned that with increasing trade and tourism it is not a matter of if but when there will be more
incursions,” Mr Ardern says.
“As a previous Minister of Economic Development, Mr Anderton must accept there will be no development if our primary
industries are devastated by incursions.”