Celebrating biosecurity success
But a recent forum in Auckland was also a chance to look to the future.
In mid-November those involved in biosecurity around the country gathered in Auckland for the one of the biggest events in the 2018 calendar, the Biosecurity New Zealand Forum. This event, hosted by Biosecurity NZ with forum partners Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) and the Department of Conservation (DOC), provided an opportunity to both look back and review the past year, and to look ahead to what’s on the horizon in the biosecurity space.
Horticulture NZ was represented at the forum by board members, Barry O’Neil and Bernadine Guilleux and assistant biosecurity manager, Anna Rathé.
The first day saw talks from a broad range of speakers including the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), DOC, regional councils, primary sector representatives, universities and business and trade representatives. Many speakers acknowledged that good biosecurity outcomes benefit not only the primary sector, but also NZ’s precious and unique biodiversity. During the second day of the forum attendees explored different approaches to biosecurity through a series of 10 different workshops. The aim was to translate the inspiration from day one into action. Workshops covered topics such as community, science, kaitiakitanga, technology and risk management. Bernadine Guilleux spoke to the Biosecurity Communication Network about getting biosecurity into the boardroom.
A highlight from the forum was presentation of the annual NZ Biosecurity Awards. These recognise individuals and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to biosecurity in this counry. There were 19 awards finalists in seven categories, all of which were worthy contenders. The deserving winners for each category were;
• Department of Conservation Community Award
Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society
• Te Puni Kōkiri Māori Award
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust
• Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Industry Award
Kiwifruit Vine Health
• Biological Heritage Challenge Science Award
Scion: New Zealand Forest
• Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award
• Mondiale Innovation Award
• AsureQuality Emerging
Dr Amanda Black
• Minister’s Biosecurity Award
Greg Corbett • New Zealand Biosecurity
Horticulture NZ would like to congratulate all of the finalists and award winners, and thank them for their efforts.
The forum was an excellent opportunity for those involved right across the biosecurity system to come together to celebrate successes, discuss issues, and think collectively about the future of biosecurity in our country. It highlighted the fact that we are all in this together and it was clear that there are many people across the country working incredibly hard to achieve excellent biosecurity outcomes for growers and for wider NZ.
We’ve all got a part to play as we need 4.7 million New Zealanders to actively take part in biosecurity. Growers have a lot at stake and they play an important role in the biosecurity story, particularly on the farm or orchard. We encourage all growers to consider whether proactive biosecurity discussions and procedures are an everyday part of your business. If not, now is the time to start. An active approach to biosecurity will help to protect your assets and wider NZ from the devastating pests and diseases that other countries are grappling with. We have a lot that’s worth fighting for.