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.


Media Release


Contributed by the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute

The people involved in keeping New Zealand free of plant and animal pests are asking Kiwis to help make their job easier over the summer, by taking good care of their pets as well as their gardens.
New Zealand Biosecurity Institute President, Rebecca Kemp has some simple messages for pet owners and gardeners this summer.
"We ask people to de-sex their pets, be conscious of where they are and do their best to prevent them from roaming."
"As well, we ask gardeners and pond and aquarium owners to either compost garden waste and aquarium contents or dispose of as green waste, and to take care that water and fish are not released into waterways."
Ms Kemp said every year Institute members spend hundreds of hours controlling or managing the risks to the environment, of the pet and gardening industry.
"This is part of wider biosecurity 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.
Biosecurity Institute members will also be promoting the "Clean, Check, Dry" message amongst recreational users of all New Zealand's waterways, to stop the spread of all aquatic pests this summer.


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
For more information about the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute please visit:


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.


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.
Institute members have had reports of increased numbers of roosters on Waiheke Island among other places throughout New Zealand.
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 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.
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.
The aquatic plant pest Senegal tea took over a pond in Auckland when it was transferred amongst water lilies from a nearby pond.
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.
At least half of the rabbits killed in one pest control operation in the Auckland Region were multi-coloured, indicating that they may have been the result of released pets that had bred with wild rabbits.

... ends


War on Weeds

We invite you to join with DOC and Weedbusters to fight this War on Weeds.

Hundreds of invasive weeds are smothering our native forests, wetlands and coastal areas, harming our wildlife and transforming our natural landscapes.

New Zealand has about 2,500 species of native plants, but ten times as many introduced exotic plants. These invasive weeds are devastating for natural habitats in the same way that rats, stoats and possums are decimating our native birds, plants and animals.

Many problem plants in the wild are attractive garden specimens that have escaped over the fence to invade our bush and forests.

The Dirty Dozen

There are 12 problem weeds that you and your community can join forces to help us bring under control.

These 12 weeds are causing particular problems in different parts of the country. They are weeds which everyone will be able to identify and help to remove with minimal equipment.

Find out more.......


Untimely Death of John Sawyer

The National Biodiversity Network is devastated to announce the untimely death of its CEO, John Sawyer, who died of a heart attack on Friday 6th November. He was at his "spiritual" home, the Isle of Mull, when it happened.

Our deepest condolences to John's family, in particular his partner Karlene, with whom he was expecting their first child.
- See more at:

...many folk in NZBI will either have worked with John or know of the work that he did. He only moved back to UK last year. From the NBN website profile of John, in his own words:
"I was born in Yorkshire and studied environmental sciences at the University of Southampton in the early 1990s. Since then I have worked in terrestrial biodiversity conservation around the world including the highlands of Guatemala, the Juan Fernandez Islands (off the coast of Chile) and the Chatham Island archipelago (680km east of New Zealand). I have worked as a technical advisor, team leader and manager at the Department of Conservation (NZ), and most recently was environmental strategy and policy advisor for Auckland (NZ's largest city).

I have also worked for charitable NGOs including a time as President of the NZ Ecological Society (NZ's largest ecological science organisation) and co-founder of both the NZ Plant Conservation Network (NZ's largest NGO devoted to the protection of the indigenous flora) and Nature Space (a national partnership to support the work of those involved in ecological restoration).

I also have an interest in the outdoors and published a hiking cookbook in 2007 entitled 'Gourmet Tramping in New Zealand'. My spiritual home (known in Maori as 'turangawaewae') is the Isle of Mull in the inner hebrides of Scotland."


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