White Spotted Tussock Moth Programme

  • Simon Upton

``Reports this morning that an independent review panel has found that the campaign to rid Auckland eastern suburbs of the white spotted tussock moth was `doomed to failure' from the start, are quite misleading'', said Simon Upton, Minister for Biosecurity. ``No such statement was made in the report''.

The panel's report states, ``the programme which was initially approved by Cabinet, based on a defined aerial spraying programme through to December 1996, was never likely to be successful despite the best efforts of all those involved (although this conclusion has the advantage of hindsight)''. ``In other words,'' said Mr Upton, ``a much longer and more intensive campaign was needed than was initially talked about. That is precisely what has happened''.

It is a feature of eradication programmes that there can never be any guarantees of success within a defined timeframe. In fairness to the Ministry of Forestry, they had always made that very clear.