15 MAY 2017
New Zealand First says the Government was far too quick to determine that a mortal threat to New Zealand native trees, manuka honey and parts of our horticultural industry from myrtle rust was airborne from Australia.
“When a staff member in my office was first briefed he asked if it had spread south from New Caledonia but was categorically told it was from Australia,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“That sets off alarm bells when no DNA analysis could have been done to establish that as incontrovertible fact. No DNA analysis will tell you how it got onto nurseries in Kerikeri.
“This ‘it’s windborne from Australia’ line might fool some in the media, but it is at odds with briefings done by the Crown Research Institute Scion in 2010, and by the former Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Biosecurity Risk Analysis Group in 2011.