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Hauraki-Waikato Candidate for the Mori Party, Angeline Greensill, has today told how she was literally 'sickened' by the reports that over seventy people have suffered excessive vomiting and diarrhea, having contracted norovirus after eating contaminated raw Pacific oysters.
"The medical officer of health has confirmed some 73 cases of an outbreak from events where people had eaten the Clevedon Coast Oysters from Pakihi Marine Farms” said Mrs Greensill.
“How ironic is it then, that just six months ago, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton released a statement boasting "Clevedon Coast Oysters exemplifies the future of New Zealand agribusiness" (7 December 2007).
"I'm pretty sure there's 73 families out there at the moment thinking that if that future consists of up to three days of severe abdominal pains, fever and headache then thanks, but no thanks" said Mrs Greensill.
"This sort of bug is most likely to emerge from raw human sewage in the seawater - maybe from a malfunctioning septic tank, sewerage pipes, a discharge from a passing boat, point source discharges from council wastewater systems, or farm runoff. It inevitably leads to shellfish poisoning creating havoc in our lives" said Mrs Greensill.
"Earlier this month, my colleague Hone Harawira reported to the Public Health Association conference about the consistent pollution of kaimoana up North. As the Northland Medical Officer of Health recently said, people are literally 'crapping in their own food-basket ".
Now we find that the same crisis is happening here in Hauraki-Waikato as well. Local Government must step up to the plate and do something about it" said Ms Greensill.
"I remember a couple of years back, that Northland Regional Council sought to prosecute the Far North District Council, as a result of two raw sewerage spills in Waitangi" said Ms Greensill. "That's the sort of leadership we expect to see emulated at all levels of Government".
"If local and central Government are happy to accept these outrageous levels of pollution on our seabeds, our kapata kai, maybe they should try getting sewerage pipes diverted to their own gardens and see what's it's like to suffer from the gastrointestinal illnesses too many of our families are experiencing" ended Mrs Greensill.