News

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

 
 

Marijuana Imports Highlight Biosecurity Concerns

The first legal medicinal marijuana that came into New Zealand did not breach customs regulations but there was a breach in biosecurity procedure.
According to one affected sector group The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute (NZBI), publicity over the first legal importation of medical marijuana failed to pick-up the fact that the plant material still had to undergo biosecurity assessment for risk. This process was seemingly missed at the border but was noticed by members of the Institute who asked its Executive Committee to enquire further.
NZBI President Darion Embling said a number of its members were concerned at an apparent breach of biosecurity screening processes at the border.
"We have been in touch with MPI, and as a result we understand that MPI refers all declared cannabis products from arriving air passengers to NZ Customs in the first instance. In this case, the items appear to have been released without being re-referred to MPI for biosecurity inspection," Mr Embling said.
"We have had an assurance from MPI that it is working with Customs to ensure future medical marijuana products declared by passengers undergo inspection for biosecurity risk as required.
Mr Embling said the risks of shortcutting the system by letting any kind of plant material into New Zealand without inspection are too high.
"The costs to the nation of any biosecurity breach are enormous.
"We have recently seen the arrival of the invasive pasture weed velvet leaf, a result of an apparent pre-screening and border inspection failure.
"As well, the disease which is killing kauri trees may possibly have arrived in New Zealand undetected on imported kauri material from other parts of the world.
"Any shortcuts to our biosecurity system are unacceptable. The risks are too serious."
Mr Embling said the incident is timely as it comes during the consultation period for the proposed guiding document for biosecurity for the next ten years; Biosecurity 2025.
The NZBI has submitted on the proposed document that it would like to see more accountability.
"Our members want to improve practices and see clear leadership with clear accountability."
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.
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.


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

 
 

New NZBI President

Darian Embling NZBI photo

The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute has elected Waikato pest management officer Darion Embling as its new president. Mr Embling succeeds Auckland pest plant officer Rebecca Kemp who stepped down from the role in July. Ms Kemp will remain an executive member of the Institute.
Ms Kemp said Mr Embling's experience of pest plant management and in engaging communities on the wider issue of invasive species were key qualities which secured him the presidency.
Mr Embling said the past few months have been significant for the Institute.
"In July the government announced its initiative to make New Zealand predator free by 2050, and released its draft guiding document for biosecurity until 2025.
"As well, the unwanted establishment of the invasive pest plant velvet leaf in pockets across the country tested biosecurity workers nation-wide when they came together to manage the plant's further spread.
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.
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.

 
   

Sleeper Pests Everywhere

The enemy is already here according to the group promoting July as the month of awareness for biosecurity issues.
The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute which promotes Biosecurity Month each July says good science and people power are the secrets to keeping the country's emerging pests under control.
NZBI President Rebecca Kemp said there can be a huge time lag from when new organisms arrive in New Zealand until they become pests.

"Ornamental garden plants that have been in New Zealand for a long time, but have now 'jumped the fence' and moved into natural areas are a major issue," Ms Kemp said.

"The same is true for animal pests. It's no longer just mammals like possums and mustelids cats or rats that are a biosecurity problem. Pest birds too, like Indian ringnecks and sulphur crested cockatoos are increasing in the wild."

She said non-native reptiles like bearded dragons and red eared slider turtles are appearing in the wild in numerous locations across the country. Pest fish, aquatic plants, and invertebrates like the guava moth are a concern as well.

"These potential or major pests are beginning to establish outside the confines of home gardens, aquariums and aviaries. Once they establish in the wild it is often too late," she said.

"The trick is to explore all the ways we can to work out which of these species will become pests. The secret to this is "people power" because early detection of future pests and good gardening and pet-keeping practices are essential to successful eradication, which is by far the best option."

Ms Kemp said in Auckland last year biosecurity workers were alerted to a new variety of the plant pest knotweed from China.

"The plant had been cultivated from just two cutting given to the owner about a decade ago, most likely because of the plant's alleged medicinal properties. It is now smothering the property and at least five adjoining properties.

"This has highlighted the herbal medicine market and demand within New Zealand. Our concern is that this close-knit community is growing and distributing species including knotweeds.

"The big questions are how abundant are these species, and what are we yet to find?"

Ms Kemp said Institute members have over the past 18 months been involved in two very high-profile pest responses.
"The first was a long but successful response to eradicate the Queensland fruit fly, and the other, more recently was the plant pest velvet leaf which has now unfortunately become an established agricultural weed here."
Ms Kemp 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," she said.

The NZ Biosecurity Institute is the professional organisation for people protecting New Zealand from invasive species. Its 450 members work for research organisations, educational institutions, regional councils and government departments.

Institute members will gather in Auckland at the end of this month for their annual conference which this year has as its theme: "Emerging threats in diverging communities".

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
For comment please contact: Rebecca Kemp, President, New Zealand Biosecurity Institute: 021 222 9076
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

NOTE FOR EDITORS
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.
By Chris Macann,
Editor, "Protect Magazine", The Magazine of the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute


EXAMPLES OF PATHWAYS FOR SPREADING PESTS
Chinese medicinal plants:

Auckland Council Biosecurity staff detected a 'new to New Zealand' knotweed located within the New Lynn area in May 2015. The plant was identified as Fallopia multiflora, also known as Fo-Ti, fleece flower root and He Shou Wu. This is native to central and south China.
The species was found close to a known site of Japanese/Asiatic knotweed (Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis). The property where the new knotweed has originated from is owned by a Chinese man who has cultivated the plant from two cuttings. It is now smothering his property and currently spreading into five adjoining properties. Cuttings were given to him approximately 10-years ago by an elderly Chinese man. Biosecurity staff know that there is at least one other infestation in the New Lynn area as it was propagated from cuttings.
The plant is used mainly for its tubers, and highly regarded for its medicinal properties. The concern is that this close-knit community is growing and distributing species including the knotweeds.

Floristry:

The weed rough horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) is now showing up in the wild in Marlborough and elsewhere. This very striking plant has been commonly propagated for use in floristry and also oriental-style landscaping. All species of Equisetum are classified as unwanted organisms but the naïve garden/floristry trade could still be operating.

Aquarium dumping:

In 2014 pond and aquarium owners in the Bay of Plenty were asked in to check for the invasive pest plant hornwort, following the accidental sale of the aquatic weed from a pet store. Many aquarium plants such as hornwort, lagarosiphon, egeria and hydrilla are on the National Pest Plant Accord list of plants that cannot be sold, propagated or distributed in New Zealand.
The aquatic plant pest parrots feather was found in the Bexley Wetland in Christchurch after the earthquakes. It is thought it got there from aquarium dumping after the earthquakes as it was close to the pathway through the wetland and behind houses.
Goldfish ending up in waterways is becoming an increasing problem. Pond species such as perch, tench, rudd, cat fish and carp all degrade the quality of New Zealand's freshwater habitats.
Pet releases:
Institute members have had reports of increased numbers of roosters on Waiheke Island among other places throughout New Zealand.
Institute members are finding non-native reptiles like bearded dragons, along with red eared slider turtles in numerous locations across Northland and Auckland as well as Wellington and other parts of the country.
Canterbury members are reporting increased numbers of peacocks in the wild on Christchurch's Port Hills as well as sulphur-crested cockatoos and eastern rosellas which have also established elsewhere. Agencies are working together in the Waikato Region to investigate a known wild population of ring neck parakeets. It is now illegal to release them because they have been listed as an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Wellington members report a number of the aquatic plant pest eelgrass sites, and a red eared slider turtle population in the Hutt River, as well as various stray cat colonies resulting from pet dumping.
Garden escapes:
Canterbury members report continual problems in the Waimakariri Riverbed where there is clear evidence of pest plants establishing following the tipping of garden waste. An infestation of Senegal tea was found in the Waimakariri River area, most likely the result of garden dumping.
The aquatic plant pest Senegal tea took over a pond in Auckland when it was transferred amongst water lilies from a nearby pond.

 
 

Nothing Funny About the Easter Bunny

It's part of Easter every year but it's not cute or cuddly nor is it a friend of farmers. The NZ Biosecurity Institute says it's a costly example of the effects of introduced plants and pests and it's high time the Easter Bunny was replaced.

Institute President, Rebecca Kemp said her members think it would be appropriate to find a heroic icon for Easter rather than the rabbit along with its villainous history in New Zealand.

Great spotted kiwi chick and Easter Egg. Photo Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Photo courtesy of Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.

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 New Zealand from invasive species.

Ms Kemp reckons it's high time the kiwi flew at Easter.

"The symbols around Easter have come from many historic and cultural origins, so why not put our own slant on Easter?" she said.

"The obvious choice would be the kiwi. It lays one of the largest eggs of any animal in the world, which is entirely appropriate for Easter".

Ms Kemp said equally significant is that it is endangered because of the effects of introduced predators.

"Were not trying to replace the Easter Bunny with an Easter Kiwi, but to give the commercial side of Easter a more New Zealand emphasis, and in so doing, help raise awareness of all pests, both plant and animal."
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," she said.
"It is very hard to get the message across that although "bunnies" look like cute cuddly creatures they are not welcome here".

Ms Kemp said an animal or plant is a pest because of where it is, not what it is.

Hear Rebecca on National Radio spreading a Biosecurity message this Easter.

Chocolate Kiwi and egg

 

 
   

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