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.