If the news was bad, we imagine it would have been left to Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor to do the announcing and he may well have stalled until Friday, when journalists and commentators are packing up for the weekend. But the news in this case is good and – hey – guess who shared the platform with the Minister to announce it?
Why, none other than the PM.
The announcement related to the world-first attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, agreed jointly between the Government and farming sector groups four years ago. Just one infected property remains in New Zealand.
Jacinda Ardern and Damien O’Connor marked the milestone at the national bulk milk testing lab MilkTestNZ in Waikato today alongside eradication partners DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ.
“When we took our one shot to eradicate we did so to protect our national herd from a painful disease, our economy from a sharp shock, and our rural communities from widespread anxiety,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Our partnership with the primary sector was critical. No one in the world had attempted to eradicate M. bovis before, and if we were going to try something that had never been done, we needed to do so together.”
The occasion gave O’Connor the opportunity to announce Budget 22’s investment of $110.9 million into New Zealand’s biosecurity work
- $42.9 million to bolster New Zealand’s biosecurity readiness for future incursions
- $68 million over the coming year to continue the M. bovis eradication momentum
- Protection of primary sector vital with exports forecast to hit record $50.8 billion for year-end 2022
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