Tau­ranga biose­cu­rity cap­i­tal

________________________________________ All New Zealan­ders need to be in­volved in biose­cu­rity and Tau­ranga is tak­ing the lead.

NZ Grower - - Contents - By Elaine Fisher

All New Zealan­ders need to be in­volved in biose­cu­rity and Tau­ranga is tak­ing the lead.

Many com­mu­ni­ties claim to be the cap­i­tal of some­thing and build giant icons to sup­port their claims, be it ki­wifruit at Te Puke, car­rots at Ohakune or the drink Lemon and Paeroa at Paeroa.

How­ever, an over­sized statute isn’t likely to be erected to trum­pet Tau­ranga’s ‘cap­i­tal’ claim be­cause it’s an ab­sence of some­thing, not a pres­ence to which the com­mu­nity as­pires.

In mid-Oc­to­ber the re­gion of­fi­cially be­came Tau­ranga Moana Biose­cu­rity Cap­i­tal (TMBC) with the launch of the ini­tia­tive by Min­is­ter for Biose­cu­rity and Pri­mary In­dus­tries, Damien O’Con­nor. It was ap­pro­pri­ate that Tau­ranga, as New Zealand’s ex­port trade cap­i­tal, should be­come its biose­cu­rity cap­i­tal too, he told the event at­tended by around 80 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of iwi, lo­cal and re­gional coun­cils, in­dus­try bod­ies, com­mu­nity and busi­ness groups with an in­volve­ment or in­ter­est in biose­cu­rity.

The Min­is­ter said biose­cu­rity de­pends on the ac­tions of ev­ery New Zealan­der and he con­grat­u­lated TMBC for its for­ma­tion as one of the lead ini­tia­tives for the govern­ment’s Ko Ta­tou This Is Us cam­paign.

TMBC aims to be an ex­em­plar for other re­gions to em­u­late, all with the aim of en­list­ing 4.7 mil­lion New Zealan­ders into a biose­cu­rity team to keep the coun­try safe from un­wanted pests and dis­ease.

Biose­cu­rity New Zealand head, Roger Smith, among the speak­ers at the launch said the world and trade was chang­ing, “and we have to change how we do biose­cu­rity”.

“More ships, big­ger ships and some­times dirty ships are ar­riv­ing as are more trav­ellers with dif­fer­ent wants and needs. Other coun­tries are ex­pand­ing their ex­ports to us mak­ing biose­cu­rity more dif­fi­cult. We need to look through a dif­fer­ent lens and fun­da­men­tally change how we work to­gether.”

The Biose­cu­rity 2025 strat­egy had brought to­gether in­dus­tries which had never talked to each other in­clud­ing non-Govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions which had not talked to Govern­ment. In­stead of blam­ing some­one else for biose­cu­rity breaches, he said the ini­tia­tive had “started some­thing good” in which ev­ery­one ac­cepted own­er­ship of biose­cu­rity and took on the chal­lenge of the sus­tained ef­fort re­quired to keep un­wanted pests and dis­ease out. As well as re­cruit­ing ev­ery New Zealan­der to the biose­cu­rity team, the aim was for ev­ery busi­ness, no mat­ter what their sec­tor, to make biose­cu­rity part of their val­ues.

It's peo­ple who will save NZ from un­wanted aliens and all 4.7 mil­lion Kiwi have a role to play in keep­ing them out, John Walsh, deputy di­rec­tor of gen­eral strat­egy per­for­mance and en­gage­ment with the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries told the sem­i­nar. Ma­jor biose­cu­rity breaches have the po­ten­tial to ir­re­versibly change New Zealan­ders’ way of life, but only around two per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion recog­nise that threat.

“Around 96 per­cent of New Zealan­ders get that biose­cu­rity is im­por­tant but when those sur­veyed were pressed for more spe­cific de­tails it re­vealed most did not think that if biose­cu­rity went wrong it would have a big im­pact on their lives,” he said.

In­va­sions of un­wanted pests and dis­eases had the po­ten­tial to af­fect ev­ery as­pect of Kiwi life from gar­den­ing, to food, to pri­mary pro­duc­tion, to re­cre­ation, to in­dus­try, to em­ploy­ment, to the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, which is why the cam­paign Ko Ta­tou This Is Us had been launched.

The cam­paign, which in­cludes a tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial de­signed to build an emo­tional con­nec­tion among the pub­lic with the things they value, is aug­mented by so­cial me­dia blogs, news­pa­per and ra­dio ad­ver­tise­ments

The aim is to en­list 4.7 mil­lion New Zealan­ders into a biose­cu­rity team to keep the coun­try safe from un­wanted pests and dis­ease.

Ma­jor biose­cu­rity breaches have the po­ten­tial to ir­re­versibly change New Zealan­ders' way of life, but only around two per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion recog­nise that threat.

It's peo­ple who will save NZ from un­wanted aliens and all 4.7 mil­lion Kiwi have a role to play in keep­ing them out JOHN WALSH

and a web­site, all de­signed to raise aware­ness of biose­cu­rity.

“We in­vite ev­ery­one to use the brand Ko Ta­tou This Is Us and come on board with the cam­paign,” he said.

TMBC pro­gramme di­rec­tor, An­drew Har­ri­son, said the aim of the TMBC ini­tia­tive was to in­crease lo­cal aware­ness about biose­cu­rity and, “why it mat­ters deeply to all of us who live here and just what would be lost if ex­otic pests en­ter or es­tab­lish here”.

“It’s about a pretty pow­er­ful, knowl­edge­able group stand­ing shoul­der to shoul­der and say­ing it’s ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial we pool our ex­per­tise and re­sources for the sake of the en­vi­ron­ment, our taonga, our econ­omy.”

There are many ways peo­ple can take ac­tion to sup­port biose­cu­rity, and not just when re­turn­ing from over­seas travel.

That in­cluded re­port­ing some­thing un­usual seen in their orchard, farm or gar­den; car­ry­ing out good hy­giene prac­tices (around clean­ing ve­hi­cles and shoes) get­ting in­volved in pest con­trol projects, teach­ing ran­gatahi (young peo­ple) about bio­di­ver­sity and biose­cu­rity and be­ing vig­i­lant when bring­ing im­ported goods into the coun­try, in­clud­ing on­line pur­chases.

“It’s im­por­tant that noth­ing else is com­ing in with them,” he said .

Carl­ton Bi­dois, co-chair of TMBC, said tanga tu whenua have much to lose from biose­cu­rity breaches in both an eco­nomic and so­cial sense.

Se­ri­ous biose­cu­rity in­cur­sion would im­pact on the Maori pri­mary in­dus­try econ­omy which is worth at least $40 bil­lion. Maori in­ter­ests ac­count for and 10 per­cent of ki­wifruit in­vest­ment,12 per­cent of sheep and beef units, 10 per­cent of dairy prod­ucts, 40 per­cent of fish­ing quota and 36 per­cent of forestry.

“That’s the dol­lar econ­omy in which Maori would suf­fer the same im­pact as oth­ers but if we look at the risks to the cul­tural econ­omy, you can’t put a dol­lar fig­ure on that,” he said.

“Maori would take a dou­ble hit as for iwi the en­vi­ron­ment is part of our health, knowl­edge, lan­guage, re­spect, spir­i­tu­al­ity, guardian­ship, lead­er­ship, self-de­ter­mi­na­tion and cul­tural prac­tice. Biose­cu­rity threats are start­ing to pull apart our cul­tural fab­ric. For ex­am­ple, we whaka­papa to the kauri, they are our fam­ily.”

Carl­ton said Maori had much to lose if the dis­ease kauri dieback kills the giant trees. It had not yet ar­rived in the Bay of Plenty and the re­gion may be­come the saviour for the trees, but only if ev­ery­one worked to pro­tect them. Do­ing so is among the goals of TMBC which also in­clude grow­ing biose­cu­rity aware­ness and so­cial li­cence and run­ning joint cam­paigns such as Biose­cu­rity Week in Oc­to­ber.

TMBC aims to ad­vo­cate for bet­ter biose­cu­rity for the re­gion and be a cat­a­lyst for ac­tion. En­abling col­lab­o­ra­tion to achieve bet­ter re­sults, shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and lessons, and tak­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow the re­gional team com­mit­ted to biose­cu­rity ex­cel­lence, are also aims.

The found­ing mem­bers of the TMBC coali­tion are; New Zealand Av­o­cado, For­est Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, Ki­wifruit Vine Health, Western Bay of Plenty Dis­trict Coun­cil, Bet­ter Bor­der Se­cu­rity (B3), Ze­spri, Biose­cu­rity New Zealand, House of Sci­ence, Uni­ver­sity of Waikato, Trevelyan’s, Ngai Te Rangi Iwi, Ngati Rang­inui Iwi, Tau­ranga City Coun­cil, the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion, Land­care Trust, Toi-Ohomai In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Bay of Plenty Re­gional Coun­cil, Port of Tau­ranga and the Na­tional Sci­ence Chal­lenges New Zealand’s Bi­o­log­i­cal Her­itage.

More in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at www.tm­biose­cu­rity.co.nz/ and www.thi­sisus.nz

◀ A demon­stra­tion by Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries de­tec­tor dogs was part of the sym­po­sium which launched Tau­ranga Moana Biose­cu­rity Cap­i­tal in Tau­ranga in Oc­to­ber. Pho­tos: Jamie Troughton, Dscribe Me­dia

▴ John Walsh, deputy di­rec­tor of gen­eral strat­egy per­for­mance and en­gage­ment with the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to use the brand Ko Ta­tou This Is Us and come on board with the biose­cu­rity cam­paign. ◀ Min­is­ter for Biose­cu­rity and Pri­mary In­dus­tries Damien O’Con­nor launch­ing the ini­tia­tive Tau­ranga Moana Biose­cu­rity Cap­i­tal.

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