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Airlines catch on to the importance of biosecurity

The primary sector has waited an incredibly long time for airlines to play their part in our national biosecurity border system, says Federated Farmers.

Today the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) launched an in-flight video to educate people travelling into the country by plane about biosecurity.

"We congratulate MPI for battling away on this for years and finally getting all airlines with screen capacity to agree to do it," says Feds biosecurity spokesperson Karen Williams. It is surprising that our national carrier didn’t lead with this initiative as they are considered thought leaders in the airline industry.

"The whole idea of ‘Ko Tatou This is Us’ is to start visitors to our country thinking about WHY our country is so special and what they can do to help us keep it that way. People respond to the ‘why’, and that is critical for behaviour change." Travellers, even those returning home who should know better, can accidentally leave risk items in their hand luggage. I hope the inflight video will ensure these items are dumped in the bins."

The script writers for the public service announcement hit the nail on the head - the New Zealand we all know and love only exists because of strong borders and we can only have that if visitors and returning citizens play their part and not bring in risk items, Karen says.

"Our way of life does depend on the behavior of those entering the country."

The video also recognises how diverse the country’s visitors and citizens are, she says.

The video has been translated into 12 different languages including French, Hindi and Bislama, a national language in Vanuatu. Vanuatu supplies many of the seasonal workers New Zealand’s primary industries relies on to exist so to have this level of recognition shows how seriously biosecurity is being taken.


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