Ensuring a world-class biosecurity system has again been rated as the ''No1'' priority by New Zealand's primary industry leaders.They were surveyed as part of KPMG's annual Agribusiness Agenda, to gauge the priority they attached to a range of strategic issues facing the primary sector.
Improving the country's biosecurity framework topped the list for the fifth consecutive year, while delivery of rural broadband moved up four places to share the second ranking with the importance of food safety.
Concerns surrounding biosecurity weaknesses were similar to those of previous years and included the ''holes'' in border inspection protocols, unrestricted importation of high-risk products, such as palm kernel extract, and concerns about the practical implications of Government Industry Agreements.
The view was expressed it was ''more by luck than good management'' that New Zealand did not experience more incursions.
It was also noted the identification of the Queensland fruit fly, in Auckland, earlier this year, demonstrated protection systems were working as intended.
In his foreword to the agenda, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said biosecurity remained his ''No1 priority''.
This year's Budget included $27 million in new funding for biosecurity, which would mean more dogs, X-ray machines and resources.
In April, he announced the Biosecurity 2025 project which would update and replace the 2003 Biosecurity Strategy, which was the founding document of New Zealand's biosecurity system.