National slams 'biosecurity blunder'Thursday, Aug 7, 2003
National's Biosecurity spokesman Shane Ardern is slamming the Government's slack attitude on biosecurity following reports that yet another dangerous pest has taken up permanent residency in New Zealand.
The Scoliid wasp, which preys on native New Zealand beetles, was first discovered here in 2000. The Conservation Department has confirmed that the Australian pest is now established in the upper North Island and is concerned it could spread further.
"This pest should have been contained and eradicated three years ago. Why are we just now finding out that it's well established here?" says Mr Ardern.
"The only thing that's consistent about this Government's management of biosecurity is the monotonous regularity of the discovery of unwanted pests in this country."
Mr Ardern says National will increase surveillance and improve response times for biosecurity incursions.
"This Government is clearly unwilling, or unable, to acknowledge that there is a problem and give biosecurity the priority it deserves," he says.