Source: New Zealand First – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: New Zealand First Gets Fruit Fly Pest Hotline Staffed 24/7

New Zealand First thanks the Ministry for Primary Industries on behalf of our primary producers for now seemingly staffing the Pest and Disease Hotline 24/7.

“It seems the message finally got through to Minister Nathan Guy that the country’s Pest and Disease Hotline needs to be staffed 24/7,” says Spokesperson for Primary Industries and Biosecurity Richard Prosser.

“It took New Zealand First to highlight the issue through questions in Parliament and the press, but at least they have finally acted.

“Now concerned New Zealanders who call the Hotline can have a conversation with and receive good advice from people who are knowledgeable, according to the feedback we have received.

“Eleven Queensland Fruit Flies have now been found due to the government’s failure to properly resource biosecurity at the border. We are pleased the government has heard us and appears to have stepped up by moving to 24/7 staffing of the Hotline.

“Now we want to hear that there will be 100% x-ray of all hand-held luggage, in-hold luggage, mail and freight in the future.

“The Government has shown they can listen to sensible advice from a constructive opposition Party once, now we’d like to see them do it again,” says Mr Prosser.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.