MAF Director-General Says Personal Attacks Inappropriate

17 December 2001

MAF Director-General Murray Sherwin today deplored the personal attacks on Dr Ruth Frampton who has been leading the Painted Apple Moth response programme in West Auckland. Mr Sherwin confirmed that Dr Frampton would continue to lead the programme.

"I think it is totally inappropriate that an individual staff member of MAF is singled out in such a manner" said Mr Sherwin

"Clearly there are concerns and frustrations in the West Auckland community over the programme to eradicate painted apple moth. I share some of those concerns and I'm determined to get the aerial spray programme underway as soon as possible."

"Coming new to this programme, I do see some weaknesses in the MAF approach to date. They mostly relate to inadequate use of project management methodology and we have taken steps to remedy that.

"We have consulted very extensively, and have attempted to meet the various concerns of the public. But we will not be able to satisfy all and we do need to get on with a spray programme which is as effective and safe as we can make it.

"We have a 23 member group of technical experts to advise on the programme. We have a community advisory group of some 20 or so local people to advise on community concerns as opposed to technical issues.

"We are determined to mount a successful project. This is complex and does not happen quickly. We are making progress.

"We will continue to listen to the concerns of the local community. We do need the community's support and are grateful for the assistance received to date."

ENDS

For further information contact:

Mary Ann Crawford MAF Communications DDI :(09) 913 1827 Mob : 021 648 117

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