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Greens announce biosecurity Budget programme

Green Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today said he was delighted that the Government had agreed with a Green Budget proposal to spend an extra $350,000 enhancing biosecurity awareness programmes.

The Green Budget initiative will add $350,000 to $875,000 which will be carried over from last year into this Budget year.

"This new money added to the $875,000 which is being carried over from last year will continue to fund a high-level biosecurity awareness programme aimed at New Zealanders who travel overseas, people visiting New Zealand and the people who import goods from other countries," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"New Zealand's unique flora and fauna must be protected against unwanted pests and we must ensure all people who live in New Zealand and visit it are aware of biosecurity issues."

Mr Ewen-Street said as an agricultural nation it was imperative that New Zealand had the most robust biosecurity systems in place to keep out the likes of Foot and Mouth Disease.

Previous Green Budget initiatives had helped fund television and print advertising campaigns such as the 'Max the Beagle' campaign and multi-language brochures on biosecurity issues.

He said the new money would allow more of the same kind of programmes to be produced and he was hoping for the creation of a mobile classroom which would tour schools to educate children on New Zealand's dependence on primary production and the need to keep alien species out.

"The Greens are really pleased that the Government has agreed that more money needs to go to strengthening our border controls. We have so much to lose if our biosecurity standards are not up to scratch and if people do not understand the issues and the risks.

"This new money combined with funding for previous Green biosecurity initiatives makes a serious contribution to ensuring people are educated and aware of what must be done to keep New Zealand clear of unwanted pests," said Mr Ewen-Street.

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