Tauranga MP and National Party leadership prospect Simon Bridge's has been called on to tackle the nasty brown marmorated stink bug.
The bug has spread to the United States and Europe from Asia. They're hard to see, hard to kill, travel far and breed fast.
The Ministry of Primary Industries considers them to be “a damaging economic pest and a significant household nuisance”.
Now the stink bug is threatening to bring the New Zealand used Japanese car trade to its knees. Jono Allen of Tauranga Cars says compliance shops are empty with staff standing around and panel and paint shops, vehicle groomers, car stereo installers are all similarly affected.
“This affects hundreds if not thousands of businesses nationwide and is costing the country huge amounts of lost revenue every day.”
After the discovery of the brown marmorated stink bug, four ships carrying used cars from Japanese have been turned away from Ports of Auckland.
“These boats have several thousand Japanese used vehicles on-board destined for New Zealand marketplace. They are currently in limbo as Australia has refused them to berth to have Fumigation with Sulfuryl Fluoride performed. Because of this the industry is grinding to a stand-still.”
And Jono Allen has told Simon Bridges that the industry needs his help.
“We need immediate action from the Minister of Primary Industries to allow Sulfuryl Fluoride to be used in New Zealand ports to treat these boats,” says Jono.
“There are many other vessels on their way from Japan and they will probably be affected too.”
He has told Simon Bridges that every day that goes by means lost incomes, lost revenue and potentially lost jobs.
“This is a serious national issue which requires your immediate attention. Please support our local motor industry.”
The bug can be eliminated with heat treatment but that's not practicable with the volume of cars involved. Jono says the only other solution is to fumigate with Sulfuryl Fluoride.
The issue is that this product cannot be used in New Zealand territory and needs to be imported. And Australia will not allow the vessels to berth to have the treatment carried out and the fumigation companies are wary of doing the fumigation at sea.