Readiness is everything
Since Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) became a signatory of the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) in June this year it’s had a strong focus on ensuring it’s ready to participate in a horticulture biosecurity response at the governance (decisionmaking) and operational (people on the ground) levels if needed.
To ensure HortNZ has the capability to participate in a response it’s undertaken a process to identify in-house capabilities of staff and understand what unique skills it could call on during a response. This in turn has informed its application to join the NBCN. This is a joint initiative between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and AsureQuality (AQ) to ensure there is a pool of capabilities and resources that can be drawn on in a biosecurity response. Many different types of organisations from all over NZ and with a huge range of skills and resources have already joined the NBCN. In the event of a biosecurity response these organisations can be called upon so there are the right field resources at the ready to deploy. Organisations that become involved with the NBCN will play a part in protecting industry from impacts that can occur from significant pests such as fruit fly and brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). If these pests were to be found in the NZ environment a response would very quickly be stood up by GIA partners – it would be all hands on deck. The network has been deployed a number of times, including during the Queensland fruit fly response in Grey Lynn in 2015.
Organisations and people don’t need to have specialist biosecurity experience or services to be a part of the network. The tasks that people are drawn on to perform are varied, for example waste management, transport logistics and administration. The network also requires specialist skills too, and MPI has set up training programmes to provide members with an understanding of the response framework.
Now that HortNZ has joined the NBCN it will focus on assisting any product groups which are interested to do the vZealand Incorporated next to assist them with their application.
HortNZ is encouraging anyone who is interested in joining the network to contact the biosecurity team if they’d like assistance with their applications, and MPI if you require further information on the network. The more capabilities and resources the network has access to the better prepared we are to respond.
▴ Back row: Anna Rathe, Leanne Stewart, Grant Boston, Cassie Callard, John Seymour; Front row: Mike Chapman and Andrew Sander.