Government Dithering Delays Oyster Biosecurity Response
New Zealand First says the slow response of MPI Biosecurity to the outbreak of a parasite that threatens the Bluff oyster shows up the National Government’s dithering.
“Scratch beneath the surface and National is just a government of slogans,” says the New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“When this oyster parasite was suspected it should have been ‘kill-first, test-second’ and backed with compensation for the farmer and their staff. Whether on the land or in the sea we must jump on any incursion to stop it spreading.
“Yet by Tuesday (13 June), it would have taken MPI Biosecurity three weeks to get its response team to Stewart Island after the parasite was found on 24 May.
“While some may say, ‘if this were foot and mouth disease MPI would have moved like lightning,’ sadly these days we doubt it. Dithering is this government’s default setting as evidenced by its response to myrtle rust, velvet leaf and pea weevil.
“And how did we end up with ‘public service time’ and paralysis through analysis affecting Biosecurity? That comes from National’s leadership, or rather, their complete lack of it.
“New Zealand’s Primary Industries need strong and decisive leadership but all they are getting are platitudes, prevarication and promises,” says Mr Peters.