March 16, 2015
The Right Decision
The Right Decision
17 MARCH 2015
John Key may have looked like a possum awaiting the headlights when fronting the media over the 1080 threats to baby formula. But I reckon the Prime Minister did the right thing by not hitting the panic button when the claims first surfaced. And ironically the headlines this week has taken the spotlight away from Winston Peters, whose vote catching bus continues to attract support for the upcoming Northland by-election.
We now know that authorities had gotten wind of the 1080 threat last November, four weeks before the Christmas holidays. Letters containing white powder – not the usual dyed pellets containing additives used in bait drops – were sent to Fonterra and Federated Farmers. The anonymous letters said infant formula would be contaminated with 1080 if New Zealand didn't stop using the poison by the end of March.
But for this to have remained secret for so long is testament to government agencies keeping their mouths shut and the fact New Zealand was heading towards the lights out stage of the year for the Christmas-New Year period.
Imagine if Key had decided against sound advice from the police and released this information before Christmas. It would have caused mass hysteria and uncertainty over this time period. So while most of the country was off enjoying their holidays, behind the scenes officials were working tirelessly to weigh up whether this was a credible threat or a hoax. Threats against the very young and the elderly can never be tolerated.
Key said on Tuesday that the government had planned to go public with the 1080 threats next week. But they had to change when the news media finally caught wind of the story. There was the usual furore – mainly from media – when it was also revealed the Government had alerted overseas markets to the threat, as it could impact heavily on the financial markets and of course our biggest organisation Fonterra. But it is the way this matter had to be dealt with.
So John Key, deserves praise for managing this crisis well. It’s not an easy job making those calls, like sending our combat troops to war-torn countries but someone has to make them.
Anyway, I’m sure while this investigation will simmer away for a while yet, good old Winston Peters and his merry men of New Zealand First supporters will be back in the headlines soon.
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com