24 Jul 2012

HortNZ accused of ill-informed criticism

5:58 pm on 24 July 2012

Primary Industries Minister David Carter has accused Horticulture New Zealand of mounting an ill-informed crusade over claims that New Zealand's biosecurity system is seriously lacking.

Mr Carter told growers at Horticulture New Zealand's annual conference in Auckland on Tuesday that it keeps publishing unbalanced and negative magazine articles criticising biosecurity.

He says this is unfair because New Zealand's biosecurity system is the best in the world and the Government takes it extremely seriously

Mr Carter warned the organisation that if it continued its crusade it ran the risk of losing credibility with the Government and government departments. He said it's not a risk to be taken lightly

Horticulture New Zealand president Andrew Fenton says growers lack confidence in biosecurity and they are angry over breaches that threaten their livelihood.

He says it is not a crusade but a very real concern with growers and the public alike.