Biosecurity 2025 discussion document released

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has launched the Biosecurity 2025 discussion document today, seeking public feedback on a long term direction for the biosecurity system.

“New Zealand has a world leading biosecurity system, but the challenges and opportunities we face are changing rapidly. The time is right to identify the changes and improvements that will be needed to maintain a resilient biosecurity system over the next 10 years,” says Mr Guy.

“The primary sector is a significant part of New Zealand’s economy, making up around half of all our exports. We need to protect our producers from unwanted pests and diseases, which is why biosecurity has always been my number one priority as Minister.

“In the future we can expect challenges from an increasing number of tourists and imports bringing a greater diversity of risks. Opportunities from new technologies will better connect people and information to identify and quickly act on risks.

The Biosecurity 2025 discussion document “Protecting to grow New Zealand” outlines five key areas of focus:

  • A Biosecurity Team of 4.7 Million – Every New Zealander and every New Zealand business becomes part of the biosecurity team.
  • A Toolbox for Tomorrow – Making the best use the best use of innovation, science and technology.
  • Free-flowing Information Highways – Underpinning the biosecurity system with all available information to better to inform risk management in real time.
  • Effective Leadership and Governance – System-wide leadership and inclusive governance supports all participants in their roles.
  • Tomorrow’s Skills and Assets – A capable and sustainable workforce and world-class infrastructure provides the foundation for an effective system.

“We want industry, stakeholders and the wider public to have their say now on guiding principles and strategic directions for the biosecurity system, as well as proposed first steps.

“The first steps are just the starting point, we are keen to hear from you, what further actions you, and others should take to make sure the biosecurity system continues to be resilient into the future.

“The result of this consultation will be a Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement, providing a future direction for our biosecurity system.

The Minister introduced four new ‘Biosecurity Champions’ at the launch. The champions will help raise awareness of the Biosecurity 2025 consultation and the importance of biosecurity to all New Zealanders.

They are Graeme Marshall, Chair of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee; Bruce Wills, a sheep and beef farmer and past President of Federated Farmers; TV personality Ruud “bugman” Kleinpaste, and biosecurity scientist Anna Probert.

“In recent years we’ve beefed up our border protection and the new Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement which emerges from consultation will help build on that. Last year’s funding boost of $27 million has meant more detector dogs, x-ray machines and inspectors.

“We also have the new border clearance levy, a new inflight video for international passengers, and an $87 million biocontainment laboratory under construction at Wallaceville.”

A full copy of the discussion document is available at: www.mpi.govt.nz/biosecurity2025