News

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

 

 
   

Doing what I love and loving what I do: Remembering Pedro

It was with deep sadness that The NZBI Executive announced the extremely sad passing of our Immediate Past President Pedro Jensen in the early hours of Tuesday March 1st.

Pedro was a very important member of the NZBI as well as the greater biosecurity community and had worked with many in his career. His enthusiasm and passion for the environment were outstanding. Pedro was the NZBI member who spearheaded the Biosecurity Month initiative and an increase in the Institute's profile in the media.
Pedro was President of The New Zealand Biosecurity Institute from 2011-2012 having served as Vice- president since 2009.
A notable point in his presidency was his signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the National Pest Control Agencies in August 2011, following the desire of the NZBI and the NPCA to align the networking and training events of both organisations.

As President, Pedro welcomed delegates to the first combined conference the following year at NETS2012 in Wairakei.

One of Pedro's major contributions to NZBI life was the Biosecurity Month initiative begun in 2010 that aimed to coordinate biosecurity media from across the country during NETS month.

This initiative was very successful in generating a buzz through television, radio and print.

Pedro also presided when the NZBI Executive voted to create and fund the formal role of Archives Co-ordinator, a major step in preserving the history of The NZBI and its predecessor organisations.
Growing up across the road and running around Otari Native Plant Museum in Wellington instilled in Pedro an early appreciation for the beauty of New Zealand's native forests. Biology was his favourite subject at college which led him to study ecology at Victoria University. Upon completing his BSc in Ecology he volunteered at Zealandia, the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, to gain work experience. In 2003, after completing two fixed-term contracts and a summer internship with Greater Wellington Regional Council's Pest Plant team, Pedro joined full-time where he remained until 2012.
Colleagues report that with his corn braids and baggy trousers Pedro didn't fit the traditional mould of a Biosecurity Officer, however the interview panel had seen the keenness, brightness and fun in him that those that knew him well came to enjoy and admire.
"I have been "doing what I love and loving what I do ever since" Pedro said of his work.
Pedro said what he most liked was the people he met and the places he got to go. He said coming home at the end of the working day knowing that he had made a positive contribution to New Zealand's natural heritage was his motivation.
Pedro was most recently the Contract Manager for the Wellington branch of the ecological, restoration and biosecurity organisation Kaitiaki o Ngahere.

It was as a Weedbusters co-ordinator that he was really in his element. He was brilliant with children and they seemed to hang off him and feed off his enthusiasm. He was known by many as "The Rapping Weedbuster". He gained respect for his work with community groups and for his championing of elegant solutions to bio-data systems while working on a joint Greater Wellington-Environment Bay of Plenty project.

pedro jensen school

His colleagues report that he was definitely his own person. "No one else wore the hair and baggies". He showed that biosecurity is full spectrum and it takes all sorts to deliver a message. Pedro was genuine and once he committed he didn't deviate.

Colleagues say that Pedro was a conservationist who believed in the intrinsic value of the natural world and in the value of its preservation for this generation and those that follow. His enthusiasm for the lower North Island's natural areas came from a lifetime of local knowledge and his passion for restoration has been of great benefit to those areas.

pedro jensen

 

 

 
 

Remembering Dave Galloway

A passionate advocate for biosecurity and its history.

 

Dave galloway portrait

It was with great sadness that the NZBI Executive announced the passing of Dave Galloway on Saturday January 9, 2016.
Dave had many roles with the NZBI over the years, including seven years service as secretary, recently becoming a life member and working on a number of NETs organising committees. Dave was also very active in a volunteer capacity with the Wellsford Fire Brigade.
Dave was a very well respected member of the Auckland Council Biosecurity Team (previously ARC) and the wider Biosecurity network of New Zealand, his loss will be felt in many ways.
Kua hinga te totara I te wao nui a Tane - a totara has fallen in the forest of Tane
Agriculture had always been somewhere in Dave's life.
Born in Dunedin and raised on a farm in Matakanui, Central Otago. His mother died on his seventh birthday and he was whisked off to an Aunt and Uncle at their Mt Hutt farm.
On returning to Dunedin, Dave went to Mornington Primary School and Kaikorai Valley High.
Dreams of working on farms and of ultimate ownership disappeared and upon leaving school he went to work at Dalgety NZ in Dunedin in late 1969, first as a fertiliser clerk in the Merchandise Department, then upon transferring to Gisborne, as a grain and seed clerk. After a short but enjoyable stint on the East Coast he transferred back to his beloved mainland as an Agresearch technician specialising in pea, wheat and maize breeding. This saw him travelling the high country carrying out trials and multiplying-up various s species for overseas producers. A ten month stint at the then Lincoln College saw him graduate with a Diploma in Field Technology.
Quarantine work
Shortly afterwards Dave started work for the Port Agriculture Service in Auckland which began 17 years as a Quarantine Officer. His time was spent equally between port and airport and he became a quasi-specialist in law teaching staff the vagaries of the Plant and Animal Acts and, from 1993 the Biosecurity Act.
He rose through the ranks to become a Senior Officer and finally to become the manager of the Treatment Technology Centre at Auckland Airport, at that time the best, most modern and safest fumigation station in Australasia.
During his time he also spent two-and-a-half years carrying out an overseas aid project for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Papua New Guinea where his job was to write a Biosecurity Act for PNG which was needed to split its public health sector away from the plant and animal sector in its existing Quarantine Act.
Noxious Plants Officer
Upon leaving MAF he took-up a quality control position within the timber industry but his background got the better of him and he successfully applied for a job as a noxious plants officer with Waitakere City working on contract for the Auckland Regional Council, which three years later was absorbed into the new Biosecurity Unit of the Auckland Regional Council. He quickly rose to the position of team leader North/West and after 20 years with local government is now, having survived constant restructuring, Biosecurity Team Manager North/West overseeing six staff and managing Auckland's possum population to low levels and the Low Incidence (Total Control) Pest Plants Programme. Until 2004 he was actively involved in the Auckland Tb programme which was declared as a vector free area that year and has been downgraded to reactive work if an infected animal is found during herd testing.
His latest area of expertise has been the monitoring of toxin distribution and breakdown during and after five aerial bait drops in the Auckland Region and also giving advice on this process to managers doing aerial bait drops at Lake Ritokare (Taranaki), Quail Island (Banks Peninsula) and Macquarie Island (Southern Ocean).
Institute service
His involvement with the Institute began in 1995 when he became secretary for the Auckland/Northland Branch of the then Institute of Noxious Plants Officers and became National Secretary of that body in 1997. A role held trough until 2004 reporting to three different Presidents.
During his time the Institute changed its name to the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute. Dave has been involved in the NZBI Archive Project from its inception and has provided useful insight to the history of the Institute from its humble beginnings 64 years ago.
As a result of this project a large amount of material has now been integrated into the formal history of NZ as a permanent archive in the National Library of New Zealand. This work is ongoing and Dave's advice and contribution has been a major factor in its success.
He has also been on the organising committee of the last three NETs in the Auckland/Northland area - Auckland 2000, Pahia 2006 and Takapuna 2011.
Dave has also attended the Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference twice, in Wellington and Darwin and presented at the Australasian Weeds Conference in Christchurch.
He said he is not too old to learn and recently attended training as a restricted Place Manager with the National Response Team for the National Biosecurity Capability Network.
NETS2014 in New Plymouth was Dave's 20th consecutive NETS.
Institute President Rebecca Kemp said Dave continued to hold a valuable ex-officio role with the Institute.

 
   

Page 2 of 21