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Friday 3 October 2003
Embargoed until 11am 3 October 2003
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry today strongly condemned some of the
tactics, particularly threats against MAF staff, used by a small group of
irrational and irresponsible activists opposed to the Government's plans to
eradicate the gypsy moth in Hamilton.
"We have no time for tactics aimed at 'playing the man, not the ball',
and believe that these shameful practices should be exposed," MAF's Forest
Biosecurity Director Peter Thomson said.
"The gypsy moth eradication campaign has been approved by Cabinet. MAF's
role is to carry out the Government's wishes in a lawful manner, giving regard
to reasonable community concerns which we will endeavour to accommodate.
"We expect a level of community concern and we are prepared to work
through this in a reasoned and constructive manner.
"Threats against the health and well-being of MAF employees and their
families, MAF sub-contractors and their families, harassment of these people,
threats of sabotage and other destructive incitements, are not tactics that
either MAF or reasonable community members should support. We refer all such
cases to the police.
"There are legal and other avenues available for community protests to
be heard and MAF encourages people opposed to the gypsy moth eradication to use
these, rather than resorting to threatening and illegal behaviour," Peter
Brett Sangster, MAF Director Corporate Communications Phone:
04 498 9882 or 027 247 8777 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org