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Pest free Port wins award

Pest free Port wins award

7 August 2017

The Port of Tauranga has been recognised for their work in preventing biological and biochemical incursions at this year’s New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.

Out of 43 nominations only 11 awards were handed out, with the Port’s Biosecurity Operational Excellence initiative receiving the industry award.
Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s busiest and fastest growing port, handling over 22 million tonnes of cargo annually. It is also the only port in the country to process over a million containers in a year.

As one of the busiest gateways to the country, biosecurity is a key part of operations and requires collaboration to prevent incursions. The Port of Tauranga works with Ministry of Primary Industries, New Zealand Customs, Industry groups and stakeholders such as Bay of Plenty Regional Council to protect the Bay of Plenty from new pests.

In 2014 the Operational Excellence Initiative was introduced with the help of Kiwifruit Vine Health to encourage everyone who works around the Port of Tauranga to play a part in keeping pests out of New Zealand. The initiative further extended the partnership to include the freight and logistics sector as well as local residents living near the port.

Greg Corbett, Biosecurity Manager for Bay of Plenty Regional Council explains that our best defence against incursions is everyone working together, and the initiative is the perfect example of how effective collaboration can be.

“This proactive approach has created a community of over 10,000 people working together on the frontline to protect New Zealand. They’re a key part of our biosecurity team and the results speak for themselves”.

Key elements of the initiative included biosecurity training for all port workers, targeted awareness campaigns for key pests and investment in surveillance, research and new technology to improve biosecurity performance.
The Operational Excellence initiative is also committed to sharing their learnings with other ports and the creation of a national model.

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