The Auditor-General's report shows that the Government has not been treating biosecurity seriously enough and has been trying to do it on the cheap, the Green Party said today.
The Auditor-General today released a report looking at the Ministry for Primary Industries' preparation for and response to a biosecurity incursion like foot and mouth disease. A MAF estimate of the cost to New Zealand of a foot and mouth outbreak is around $10 billion and 20,000 jobs over two years.
"This report highlights the similarities between our lack of preparedness for a foot and mouth outbreak with that of the UK immediately prior to their disastrous experience with it," Green Party primary industries spokesperson Steffan Browning said.
Of 27 work streams under the surveillance strategy meant to be completed by the second quarter of 2012 only two had finished their work.
"The report shows that the Government has over-promised and under-delivered, and left our agricultural sector vulnerable," said Mr Browning.
"The Government needs to learn from this report and protect our primary sector.
"Our clean green brand is worth billions to the New Zealand economy - we need to invest in protecting it."