Revelations that detector dogs have been snoozing while thousands of passengers stroll through Auckland International Airport unchecked by biosecurity sniffer dogs is very concerning, National’s Biosecurity spokesperson Nathan Guy says.

“I’m shocked to hear of workforce issues and allegations of bullying and a toxic culture within management overseeing the team.

“It beggars belief that MPI intentionally have no dogs working on the green lane at Auckland Airport, between 2-5am ­- so dog handlers can sleep in.

“This lax approach is a real concern especially as spring and summer are the highest risk period for stink bugs and fruit flies. These incursions would hammer the horticulture industry and have broader implications for New Zealanders.

“It has become clear that Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is not across the detail on his biosecurity portfolio. He admitted in Parliament yesterday that he didn’t even know that this was an issue until that morning. This is unbelievable.

“Despite Mr O’Connor talking tough on biosecurity during the election campaign, the Minister has confirmed that no new money has been invested into airport biosecurity since he has been Minister.

“National funded an extra 20 dogs, taking the number to 60 - but Mr O’Connor has left them in the kennel. He will have to take responsibility for the next big incursion via the passenger pathway which is just around the corner.”

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