National is alarmed to learn today that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have found 26 live Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) in a box of imported shoes in Oamaru, National’s Biosecurity spokesperson Nathan Guy says.
“The shoes were purchased from eBay and easily slipped through the border. Fortunately, the purchaser did the right thing, contained them, and alerted MPI’s hotline.
“MPI only have two sniffer dogs trained for stink bugs and this mail pathway is now creaking with Christmas shopping. The risk of a significant BMSB incursion is now an everyday risk.
“Labour and NZ First talked tough about biosecurity in the election campaign, but they’ve failed to deliver.
“Under Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor’s watch, MPI haven’t got enough personnel to get all of the dogs out of their kennels because of an alleged toxic culture within the detector dog management team in Auckland.
“Over 7600 passengers have walked through the Auckland International Airport green lane without being screened by detector dogs.
“I worry how many stink bugs are already driving around New Zealand in imported cars waiting to multiply and devastate our fruit crops.
“The cost of a stink bug outbreak could reach $4 billion and would be catastrophic for our horticulture industry.”