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13 December 2002
Public submissions are being sought to help decide the future of varroa control in New Zealand - including measures needed to keep the South Island free of the bee mite.
A Varroa Planning Group made up of MAF, local government, and a range of primary industry groups have been examining the options for long-term varroa management. The Group has proposed the development of a National Pest Management Strategy with the objective of keeping the South Island free of varroa.
"The discussion document released today is designed to set out how a national strategy might be implemented, ," said MAF's Varroa Programme Coordinator, Paul Bolger.
"The Varroa Planning Group agrees that an industry collective should be formed to manage the strategy. We will now consult more widely on the Group's work to date by calling for written submissions by 28 February 2003 and by holding a series of public meetings.
It has been estimated that specific measures to keep the South Island free of varroa would cost approximately $700,000 per year. The principal measures suggested are continuation of current movement controls, public awareness activities, and intensive surveillance for varroa in the South Island.
North Island: Gisborne, 10 Feb; Wairoa, 11 Feb; Hasting, 11 Feb; Dannevirke, 12 Feb; Masterton, 12 Feb. South Island: Ashburton, 27 Jan; Timaru, 27 Jan; Alexandra, 28 Jan; Gore, 28 Jan; Mosgiel, 29 Jan; Blenheim, 3 Feb; Nelson, 3 Feb; Greymouth, 4 Feb; Rangiora, 5 Feb.
For further information contact:
Paul Bolger, Varroa Programme Co-ordinator, Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry