New Zealand industry groups have welcomed the launch of a new biosecuity strategy.
Developed by the country’s federal government, the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement was unveiled by New Zealand's minister for primary industries, Nathan Guy, at a biosecurity forum in Auckland yesterday (22 November), with approximately 200 primary industry stakeholders in attendance.
Steve Rich, secretariat manager of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) for Biosecurity Readiness and Response, said the statement would future-proof New Zealand’s biosecurity system for the years to come.
“GIA’s industry partners strongly support the minister for taking the initiative to refresh New Zealand’s biosecurity strategy,” Rich explained. “They have welcomed the opportunity to take part in the process to develop the B2025 Direction Statement, and are committed to participate in its implementation.”
Biosecurity 2025 will build on the government’s 2003 biosecurity strategy, Protect New Zealand. The statement is made up of five strategic directions, each designed to play a part in meeting the challenges facing New Zealand’s biosecurity system.
Earlier this month, staff from New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) intercepted four Queensland fruit fly larvae at Wellington Airport. The larvae were found in an undeclared mandarin carried by an Australian passenger arriving from Melbourne.
“Keeping fruit fly out of New Zealand is one of our highest priorities,” said Andrew Spelman, MPI border clearance manager, Central and South Region. “The Wellington interception shows the value of MPI’s biosecurity x-ray technology, which has been upgraded over the past few years."
MPI staff have made 11 fruit fly interceptions at the border this year.