8 Oct 2013

Labour takes a swipe at bounty scheme

2:00 pm on 8 October 2013

Labour's Biosecurity spokesperson has taken a swipe at a bounty scheme that the Department of Conservation is running as part of a campaign to eradicate the great white butterfly from the Nelson-Tasman region.

The butterfly is a threat to brassica crops and some native plants and DOC is offering $10 for each of the pests captured and killed.

So far the bounty scheme has netted 47 great white butterflies, with nearly 1000 of the smaller common white butterflies also handed in.

Damien O'Connor, though, sees it as another sign that the biosecurity system is falling down.

He says the under-resourced Ministry for Primary Industries has had to rely on the Department of Conservation, which in turn is relying on school children running around with butterfly nets.

He says that should not be part of a front-line biosecurity response.