Readi­ness is ev­ery­thing

NZ Grower - - Biosecurity -

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.

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