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17 December 2001
MAF is continuing to mobilise resources in preparation for the targeted aerial spraying of painted apple moth in west Auckland.
Biosecurity Director, Barry O'Neil says preparations for spraying in mid-January are advancing at an increasing rate.
"As the eradication programme moves to an operational stage additional resources are being marshaled to allow spraying to begin on time.
"For example this week we will open our operational headquarters in west Auckland. It is from this HQ that the logistics of the operation will be co-ordinated.
"I can also announce we have contracted AgriQuality New Zealand to manage the west Auckland operational HQ, Forest Health Dynamics to co-ordinate the ground-to -air operation and North Shore Helicopters to undertake the targeted spraying itself," said Mr O'Neil.
"As signaled by the Minister for Biosecurity last week we have also brought in an overall Project Co-ordinator to ensure all activities are fully integrated into a functional project plan," he said.
Mr O'Neil said it was important to note that a targeted aerial spray programme was designed to eradicate painted apple moth with the least impact on residents and the environment.
"Our technical advisers remain confident that targeted aerial spraying, supplementing the current ground spraying and host removal, is an appropriate way to pursue eradication."
For further information contact Mary-Ann Crawford on (09) 913 1827 or 021 648 117