March 1, 2013 by Doug Coutts
It seems that border security forces are spending too much time checking passengers’ bags for illegal substances and not enough scouring their boots for mud, according to a shouty man on National Radio this morning.
Illegal substances are quickly rendered harmless by passage through the body (although the body’s owner/occupier may never be the same again) whereas muddy boots can bring in spores and seeds and bacteria and all other kinds of unimaginable filth, any of which is capable of completely destroying New Zealand’s primary industry. [I thought Hekia was responsible for that. Ed.][Shut up Ed, I’ll do the jokes.]
Agriculture officials have kind of admitted they might have once or twice been a bit lax but are quick to make assurances that no real harm has been done. Yet. Apart from to the kiwifruit sector, and that only really affected a handful of Queen St farmers. And their 20,000 staff.
They’ve promised to tighten things up at the borders. All incoming passengers and their luggage will be sprayed, dipped and fumigated before passing through immigration, assuming they’ll still want to. Wealthy travellers, or those coming through on dodgy visas arranged by former Cabinet Ministers, will naturally be exempt.
Foot and mouth disease, with its symptoms of slobbering, snorting and limping, has never occurred in this country, although there have been several scares. In one case, a pig with a cold sore sparked an alert that saw several thousand pigs, sheep and slow schoolchildren rounded up and slaughtered, while in another a large area of Wellington was cordoned off, snipers positioned and burial pits dug before the incident could be confirmed as merely a NZ First luncheon outing. The snipers were sent home and the barriers taken down but the burial pits are still on standby.
In other news, the Pope has finally gone. In keeping with the non-traditional aspect of the Papal Departure, his successor will be chosen not by ballot but by spreadsheet – the Cardinal with the least number of historic sexual abuse charges outstanding will get the nod. Unless he has one already.
To the weather, and the drought continues in parts of Northland, where farmers are praying for rain. So too are journalists because havoc-wreaking floods is a whole new section in the Clichés app.
WWNews will be back on the hour. Precisely which one is still being worked through. In the meantime, here’s some music.