Biosecurity “Gammy”: Northland wins PeterNelson Award

Significant efforts and outstanding success in engaging the wider community in a range of pest control initiatives throughout its region, has won Northland Regional Council this year’s Peter Nelson Award.

The work extended to providing advice and assistance to significant private ecological restoration projects, supporting community groups and volunteers, sponsoring training programmes for both young and old, and providing training assistance and opportunities for participants to gain formal qualifications under the NZQA unit standards framework.

Don McKenzie, the council’s Senior Biosecurity Programme Manager said the award win has been publicised throughout Northland and staff who have been involved in pest control have all shared in the acknowledgement.

“We want to take the opportunity to again thank the Institute for the award. It is displayed with pride at our regional council office in Whāngārei and the positive feedback we have received from biosecurity colleagues, council staff and the public has been fantastic.

Don described it as the ‘Grammy’ of its field - keenly sought after and highly-regarded among the national biosecurity community.

“We see this very much as a trophy not just for us as a council, but also the many Northlanders from all walks of life who have worked closely with us over the past decade in a huge range of pest control initiatives both on land and in the water,” Mr McKenzie says.

“An award like this helps us keep the profile of biosecurity work in front of councillors, all of our pest control staff and the public,” Don said.

The win comes just a year after former council staff member, Peter Joynt, was posthumously awarded the other major trophy the institute awards annually, the Peter Ingram Award.


Peter Nelson Memorial Trophy

The Peter Nelson Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to individuals or organisations, for achievement in Vertebrate Pest Management within New Zealand. The trophy is a carved kokako standing on a limb above the skulls of small predatory mammals.

The kokako is carved from a kauri beam salvaged from an Auckland warehouse. The rings indicate the tree may have been 1800 years old when milled. The base is swamp Kauri from North Auckland aged about 38,000 years.

Inside the base is an account of Peter Nelson’s contribution to establishing professionalism within the pest management field in New Zealand. His long career in pest control had its origins in the 1960s and continued until his death in 1998.