A new Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) project, Biosecurity 2025, aims to update and replace the founding document of New Zealand’s biosecurity system, the 2003 Biosecurity Strategy, with broad input from stakeholders, iwi and the New Zealand public.
Launching the project in North Canterbury last Friday, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy reminded guests that Government and industry had set a goal of doubling the value of New Zealand’s exports by 2025 and that an effective biosecurity system is fundamental to its achievement.
“That is why biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister and why the time is right to take a longer term view,” he said, adding that, since last year, he has been talking with officials on the need to better prepare New Zealand for future biosecurity threats, challenges and opportunities.
“As the fruit-fly discovery in Auckland shows, our biosecurity system is facing ever-increasing pressures due to factors such as growing international trade, greater mobility of people and increasingly complex global supply chains.”
He pointed to the beefing up of the frontline on the border with 130 new quarantine inspectors, an increase in the number of detector dog teams at the airports from 26 to 40 and 15 new x-ray machines installed at international airports, In addition, looking across the wider biosecurity system, many improvements have been made, he said. Four Government Industry Agreements on Response and Readiness are now in place – though not yet with the meat industry.
Biosecurity 2025 will provide a clear direction for the biosecurity system and identify any changes or improvements needed over the next ten years. The project will be led by the Ministry for Primary Industries and overseen by an independent panel of three peer reviewers. These are Dr John Hellstrom, who was chair of the former Biosecurity Council when that council led the work that led to the 2003 strategy., Professor Mick Clout of the University of Auckland whop chairmed the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee set up as a result of the 2003 strategy, and Glenice Paine, chair of the Te Atiawa Trust, an accredited Resource Management Act Commissioner and prior chair of the Environmental Protection Authority’s Māori Advisory Committee.
A draft Direction Statement will be developed and shared with a wide range of New Zealanders. It will cover expectations of what the system should deliver by 2025, including priorities for action. The final Direction Statement is expected to be confirmed by the end of the year.
People with an interest in participating in the Biosecurity 2025 engagement can register their interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.