New Zealand First says the country is paying for the Government’s lack of foresight when it slashed border biosecurity that allowed the PSA virus to devastate Kiwifruit orchards.
A review released this week made six recommendations to overcome shortcomings in the way kiwifruit, kiwifruit pollen, nursery stock, seeds and horticulture equipment were imported into the country before the PSA outbreak.
Biosecurity spokesman Richard Prosser says the Government was focused on cutting costs for border biosecurity instead of ensuring diseases and viruses didn’t enter our country.
“The Government was more concerned with allowing as many people as possible through our airports and ports without so much as a single check on what they were carrying.
“More staff and sniffer dogs are needed at airports but the Government has negligently failed to act so they could cut a few dollars from their budgets.
“This short-sighted policy is now costing the taxpayers millions of dollars and threatens the future of one of our most prized industries,” says Mr Prosser.