News

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

 
 

Lincoln Decision Disappoints

Key biosecurity sector interest group, The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute has expressed disappointment at Lincoln University's decision to drop its biosecurity and bioprotection majors for its science degrees.Darian Embling NZBI photo

Institute President Darion Embling said Lincoln University's announcement in October flies in the face of the government's clearly stated direction for biosecurity for the next decade, announced this month in the Biosecurity 2025 direction document.

"This is quite significant, with capability and learning key to this new biosecurity strategy," Mr Embling said.

A major thrust of the direction is to ensure by 2025 that at least 75 percent of adult New Zealanders understand biosecurity and why it's so important to New Zealand.

"Lincoln's decision seems to go in the opposite direction," Mr Embling said.

"If the strategy is to be at all effective the government needs to work with the university to encourage the availability and attractiveness of biosecurity-related courses, and to demonstrate real career pathways given that this direction strategy has been highly promoted as a collaboration with all sectors of biosecurity.

"Vital sectors to the success of the strategy are education and science," Mr Embling said.

Biosecurity 2025 also has as the explicitly stated aim of being able to identify 150,000 skilled people who can be quickly drawn on to support responses to biosecurity incursions.

"These ambitions would suggest that biosecurity is looking like a good career path for those looking at a course of study.

"Given the government' clear commitment to biosecurity and the associated public awareness and skills involved, Lincoln's decision seems to be rather premature."

Mr Embling said the Institute was prompted to comment due to discomfort with Lincoln's decision expressed by some members.

"It is important for the Institute to make this point strongly because there is no independent group watching the biosecurity sector generally."

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
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

 
 

Biosecurity Week is coming up!

Biosecurity Week is coming up! To be held 21 – 25 November, the awareness week will be kicking off with a public event on Monday 21 November at the Port of Tauranga in Mount Maunganui.
The public day is on from 1pm to 3pm where there will be competitions, giveaways and games; plus, see the biosecurity beagle dog demonstration and chat to biosecurity experts.
Throughout the week, industry partners will also visit post-harvest and transitional facilities, as well as activities held for port personnel, providing collateral and education surrounding biosecurity.
The public are at the front line of reporting any pests that may slip past the border on cargo, sea containers, vehicles or equipment moving off the port. For residents that live adjacent to an international port, like those in Mt Maunganui, reporting unfamiliar insects or suspicious looking pests will help protect our recreation and environment, as well as the future of kiwifruit, avocado and forestry sectors.
Biosecurity Week is part of the 'Biosecurity Excellence Partnership' between Port of Tauranga, Ministry for Primary Industries, Kiwifruit Vine Health, NZ Avocado, Forest Owners Association, Dairy NZ, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Customs NZ.

 
   

Institute Pleased Ship Turned Back

The NZ Biosecurity Institute says it is pleased a ship carrying the livestock food supplement palm kernel expeller (KPE), has not been allowed to discharge its cargo in New Zealand.

Institute President, Darion Embling said he understands part of the ship’s cargo came from an unregistered facility in Malaysia.

“This means the place of origin can not be relied upon when it comes to assuring New Zealand officials that the cargo is free of unwanted organisms.

“We understand some attempts were made by the importer to have the cargo treated in New Zealand after the fact.

“This has not been permitted and it sends a strong and most likely costly message to those involved that we take border biosecurity seriously.

“We are pleased at the decision because it shows the Ministry of Primary Industries which is the government department responsible for Border Biosecurity is serious about sending that message around the world.”

He said a recent arrival of fodder beet seed which also contained the pasture pest velvet leaf shows how easy it is for unwanted organisms to get through despite apparent checks and balances.

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.

 
 

Better Biosecurity Branding

INSTITUTE WANTS BIGGER BETTER BIOSECURITY BRANDING MEDIA RELEASE

8 September 2016

The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute wants to see the return of the Biosecurity NZ brand.
In a submission on the government's discussion document on the future of biosecurity; Biosecurity 2025, the Institute has asked for the re-launch and strong marketing of the former Biosecurity NZ brand.
Institute President Darion Embling said the Biosecurity NZ brand has become lost within the wider branding of The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
"We want to see it as a strong brand in its own right.
"Primary sector biosecurity is vital but it's not just about protecting primary industries and if the government wants to get a team of 4.5 million New Zealanders championing the biosecurity cause , which is a key aim of the document, it needs to focus on the word "biosecurity" not the words "primary industries".
Mr Embling said he would like the single word "biosecurity" to be as common a catch-cry for all new Zealanders as the phrase "location, location, location".
Mr Embling said the business of biosecurity sits uncomfortably within MPI.
"When we hear a major biosecurity announcement made, if it must come from the Ministry for Primary Industries, we want to hear the office described as Ministry for Primary Industries and Biosecurity," Mr Embling said.
The NZ Biosecurity Institute is the professional training and networking organisation for people involved in all aspects of biosecurity including pest animal and plant management, and border control. Its members work for research organisations, educational institutions, regional councils and government departments. All are involved in protecting NZ from invasive species.
Mr Embling said every year Institute 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.

NOTE FOR EDITORS
For more information please contact: Darion Embling: (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

 
   

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