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4.7 Million Sets of Eyes and Ears Vital for Biosecurity

July is Biosecurity Month – a month dedicated to promoting the importance of biosecurity to the country.

Those who work in the sector reckon New Zealanders should celebrate it as much as they do the All Blacks and Team New Zealand.

Biosecurity sector group the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute wants New Zealanders to know it’s not just sailing and rugby that Kiwis are world beaters at.

President Darion Embling said New Zealand is also recognised around the globe as a world champion of biosecurity.

“If there was a world cup for biosecurity we’d win it but we have to keep at it and we too need a support team of 4.7 million,” he said.

Mr Embling said the arrival of the plant killer Myrtle rust this year, which threatens important horticultural and iconic native plants, is a wake-up reminder that everyone must be vigilant.

myrtle-rust-on-leaves

Mr Embling said the next serious imminent threat is the agricultural pest the brown marmorated stink bug which is native to Asia but has spread to Europe and the Americas with devastating effects.

“The pest so far has been kept at bay but border control staff have intercepted them on a number of occasions at sites within New Zealand.

BMSB

“So far we have managed to prevent its establishment but we need 4.7 million sets of eyes and ears because we don’t know if there are small populations already present.”

He said New Zealand is fortunate to have a world class biosecurity system.

“Our pre and post-border surveillance system is second-to-none, and so is our research.”

Mr Embling said his members want to see the Biosecurity Sector have a high profile in the community as well as in the education curriculum.

"I'd like the word "biosecurity" to be as common a catch-cry for all New Zealanders as the phrase "location, location, location".

Biosecurity month occurs every July in the run-up to the NZ Biosecurity Institute's combined annual National Education and Training Seminars (NETS). This year NETS is in Wellington 9-11 August.

Mr Embling said every year, in the course of their jobs, NZBI members spend hundreds of hours controlling or managing the risks to the economy and the environment from the effects of unwanted pests.

“This work costs the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year through control, research and border control budgets. This money is coming out of all New Zealanders’ pockets,” he said.

“We need everyone to play a part in protecting what’s precious and unique about New Zealand.”

The NZBI is the professional training and networking organisation for people involved in biosecurity. Its 450 members work for research organisations, educational institutions, regional councils and government departments.

All are involved in protecting NZ from invasive species.

5654 biosecurity 2017 web

MEDIA RELEASE

From The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute

June 28, 2017

 

 
 

Biosecurity Month 2017 Banners

July is Biosecurity Month

Support this year's Biosecurity Month by adding the following banners to your Website, Facebook Page and Emails. Include a link to the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute website www.biosecurity.or.nz

 

“The success of protecting New Zealand from biological threats from coming into and also within New Zealand is everyone working together. The emphasis of Biosecurity month 2017 is on collaboration between agencies, councils, government departments, NGOs and the community.”

 

The Basic Biosecurity Message

 

Biosecurity’ means protection from the risks posed by organisms to the economy, environment and people’s health, through exclusion, eradication and control procedures, actions and activities.‘

 

Biosecurity is vital to protect New Zealand’s ability to grow primary products, stay healthy, and preserve our natural heritage – our unique thumb print on the world. New Zealand is fortunate to have a world class biosecurity system, driven by primary producers and people who care about our biodiversity, and assisted by central and local government with legislation that enables effective management of those pests inside New Zealand, and a border and pre-border surveillance system second to none, and supported by world class research from a variety of science institutions.

 

Vigilance and understanding of the risks to biosecurity are vitally important. New Zealand is a trading nation and a tourist destination, and numbers of imports and visitors are increasing every year. New Zealand is free from many of the pests that limit trade and production in other countries and this is a huge advantage to our growers. We have a benign climate amenable to a variety of species not currently here, and we also have a significant number of pests, both actual and potential, here already. With global warming and biological changes potentially influencing the distribution and ability of pests to impact on habitats, we must never become complacent in our surveillance, search for knowledge or our ability to respond.

 

Sectors of the biosecurity system are all interlinked. They do not function in isolation but require each to be connected to the other to create a system stronger than its parts. The NZBI endeavours to foster relationships and avenues for the sharing of ideas and best practice information between all the sectors of the biosecurity system.

 

Keep up the good work!

 

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5654 biosecurity 2017 email

 

The Basic Biosecurity message

 

Biosecurity’ means protection from the risks posed by organisms to the economy, environment and people’s health, through exclusion, eradication and control procedures, actions and activities.‘

 

Biosecurity is vital to protect New Zealand’s ability to grow primary products, stay healthy, and preserve our natural heritage – our unique thumb print on the world. New Zealand is fortunate to have a world class biosecurity system, driven by primary producers and people who care about our biodiversity, and assisted by central and local government with legislation that enables effective management of those pests inside New Zealand, and a border and pre-border surveillance system second to none, and supported by world class research from a variety of science institutions.

 

Vigilance and understanding of the risks to biosecurity are vitally important. New Zealand is a trading nation and a tourist destination, and numbers of imports and visitors are increasing every year. New Zealand is free from many of the pests that limit trade and production in other countries and this is a huge advantage to our growers. We have a benign climate amenable to a variety of species not currently here, and we also have a significant number of pests, both actual and potential, here already. With global warming and biological changes potentially influencing the distribution and ability of pests to impact on habitats, we must never become complacent in our surveillance, search for knowledge or our ability to respond.

 

Sectors of the biosecurity system are all interlinked. They do not function in isolation but require each to be connected to the other to create a system stronger than its parts. The NZBI endeavours to foster relationships and avenues for the sharing of ideas and best practice information between all the sectors of the biosecurity system.

 

Keep up the good work!

 
 

NETS2017 Registration Open

Kia ora, everyone,

 

Finally, the NETS2017 programme is up on the website at https://www.nets2017.co.nz/ and registrations are now open, with a link from that page to the Eventzilla registration system we are using this year.

 

A couple of things to keep in mind:

 

  • You’ll need to have read the NETS2017 programme before you register and know which fieldtrip you want to select.  Only two have extra charges – The Halo and Zealandia ($35.00) and the Claybird Shoot ($35.00)

     

  • None of the registration categories include the Wednesday night Mix ‘n’ Mingle, so you need to tick the box and add this to your purchase when registering if you want to attend.

 

  • The full registrations for members and non-members include a ticket to the happy hour and the conference dinner. Student regos do not include a ticket to the happy hour and the conference dinner – you can purchase these as a separate item when you register.

 

You can pay by credit card through the PayPal option (you don’t need to register with PayPal to do this, read instructions on your screen carefully!), or receive an invoice for payment by choosing the ‘bank transfer’ option. 

 

The early bird discounts apply until 30 June, so get in quick!

 

As always, if you have any questions or need more info, please email me on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we can work through it.

 
   

Call to Arms from Biosecurity Organisation

 

The arrival on the New Zealand mainland of the plant pathogen myrtle rust is a call to arms says the country’s overarching biosecurity organisation the NZ Biosecurity Institute.

Institute president, Darion Embling said all members of the biosecurity community are on high alert or are now helping with keeping the lid on this outbreak detected on Thursday May 4th in Northland.

“If ever there was a time for all New Zealanders to be vigilant it is now.

“This pest is a game-changer for NZ,” he said.

“Now that the pathogen is here I appeal to everyone to be vigilant.”

Mr Embling said the Ministry for Primary Industries is leading the charge on this, but that it was important for all New Zealanders to support the agencies already involved particularly since early action is vital.

He said the best thing to do is follow the Ministry’s guidelines from its website, but in particular to look for purple/black splotches or patches with yellow dots on leaves and stems on plants such as feijoa, bluegum, bottlebrush, manuka, kanuka or pohutukawa.

“This stuff spreads like talcum powder so we need to be really careful.”

“Photograph and mark a suspicious site, but don’t touch anything and if you think you’ve brushed against it or come into contact in any way leave the article on the spot.

“Being a pathogen, it can be carried on anything without people’s knowledge.

Mr Embling said anyone in the vicinity of myrtle rust will be the biggest spread risk.

“It’s not going to be easy but we are all into stopping this”, he said.

The NZ Biosecurity Institute is the professional training and networking organisation for people involved in biosecurity. Its 450 members work for research organisations, educational institutions, regional councils and government departments.

All are involved in protecting NZ from invasive species.
Every year the Biosecurity Institute’s members spend hundreds of hours controlling or managing the risks to the economy and the environment of the effects of introduced pests.
“This is work which costs the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year through control, research and border control budgets. This money is coming out of all New Zealanders’ pockets,” he said.

For comment please contact: Darion Embling, President, New Zealand Biosecurity Institute: (07) 859 0790 | 021 605 029

Media enquiries please contact: Chris Macann, Editor, Protect Magazine - The Magazine of the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute, phone 03 34 99 660  |  021 878 001

 

 

 
 

The Good the Bad and the Christmas Tree

The organisation that wants to ban the Easter Bunny has now set its sights on the Christmas tree. The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute doesn't want to ban the tree but would like people to see it as the holiday symbol representing the good and the bad sides of biosecurity in New Zealand.
Institute President Darion Embling said carefully managed conifer trees are an asset to the country but left uncontrolled they pose a large threat to production and native ecosystems. In parts of New Zealand, conifer trees have gone wild and now require millions of dollars and thousands of hours to control.
Over the summer we would like people to think of the two branches of the traditional Christmas tree; the "Good" managed economic resource and the "Bad" uncontrolled weedy plant.
It's an ideal symbol for what our members do every day they go to work.
He said it's an equally appropriate symbol because New Zealand's own native "Christmas tree" – the pōhutukawa could be under threat from several international pest fungus species, such as Myrtle Rust (Puccinia psidii). These haven't reached New Zealand shores yet, but if they did they would pose a significant threat to iconic natives such as pōhutukawa, rata and mānuka.

"Myrtle rust has the potential to get here on people, cargo and freight, which is a pathway we can try to control at the border, or on the wind, which is a pathway we have no control over," Mr Embling said.
"It's slowly getting closer and is now causing major problems in Australia and could blow across the Tasman Sea on prevailing westerly winds..

Myrtle rust and other pests and diseases can be transported on clothing and equipment. That is why we are asking people to thoroughly check and clean outdoor clothing and equipment such as boots and tools to make sure there are no hitch hikers.
He said another concern is Argentine ants which are on the march throughout the country. They too can be spread in clothing and camping equipment.
Mr Embling said the Institute has a few simple messaged for people this summer:

  • check your boots and outdoor equipment for hitch hikers, dirt and fungal spores
  • check, clean, and dry all equipment that has been in contact with waterways
  • dispose of garden waste or aquarium contents in the compost or at an appropriate waste management site.

"Having pets desexed and prevented from roaming is also a very helpful measure," he said.
" We want people to take this time to think about what they can do to stop the spread of pest animals and plants, and diseases."
The NZ Biosecurity Institute is the professional training and networking organisation for people involved in biosecurity. Its 450 members work for research organisations, educational institutions, regional councils and government departments.
All are involved in protecting NZ from invasive species.
Every year the Biosecurity Institute's members spend hundreds of hours controlling or managing the risks to the economy and the environment of the effects of introduced pests.
"This is work which costs the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year through control, research and border control budgets. This money is coming out of all New Zealanders' pockets," Mr Embling said.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
For comment please contact: Darion Embling, President, New Zealand Biosecurity Institute: (07) 859 0790 | 021 605 029

 
   

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