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plant organisations to grow closer relationship

NZ and Australian plant organisations to grow closer relationship

In a meeting to be hosted by the Federated Farmers of New Zealand, the Chairman and CEO of Plant Health Australia (PHA) will meet representatives of New Zealand plant industry organisations on Monday 10 February 2003 to exchange ideas and investigate opportunities for collaboration on key plant health projects between both countries.

“Australia and New Zealand have a similar geography and pest status, and both share the goal of pursuing biosecurity initiatives to minimise pest and disease threats to plant industry,” said Andrew Inglis, PHA Chairman.

The meeting will involve representatives from: the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (NZ) Fruitgrowers Federation, NZ Pip Fruit Growers, NZ Vegetable & Potato Growers Federation, Summerfruit New Zealand, and Zespri.

PHA will provide New Zealand plant industry bodies with a briefing on key plant health projects initiated by PHA, including the development of Industry Biosecurity Plans, progression of a national emergency response system (and a refined decision making process), a cost sharing agreement for exotic pest incursions, and the Australian Plant Pest Database.

Also for discussion will be PHA efforts to initiate an Australian diagnostic network, including diagnostic standards and tests for high priority exotic plant pests, and an international, internet based diagnostic expertise register.

“Australia and New Zealand have a number of similar plant industries and pest challenges, and there are a variety of important issues and projects which we believe can be dealt with more effectively using the combined resources and knowledge of both countries,” said Mr Andrew Inglis.

The meeting will commence at 9am on 10 February 2003, and will be held at.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand – Wellington Office Ormond Room Level 7, Agriculture House 12 Johnstone St Wellington, NZ

Any media organisation wishing to attend the meeting should contact Jo McKenzie, Federated Farmers of New Zealand PH 04 494 9181 or 027 226 0306.

PHA is the peak national policy body for plant health in Australia, with 28 plant industry and government members, which is conducting a range of projects to develop an internationally outstanding plant health management system for Australia.

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