News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Border Restructuring Threat to Biosecurity

Conservationists have strongly criticised the direction of the Government's current review of border control services.

Forest and Bird's Conservation Director, Kevin Smith, said the review outcome seemed pre-determined, with the Ministerially-appointed review panel almost certain to recommend a single border agency comprising MAF Quarantine and the Customs Service.

Mr Smith said the motivation for the changes was not to improve biosecurity effectiveness but to reduce costs and to speed up the passage of goods and people across the border by cutting back on biosecurity inspection regimes.

"The changes, which are mainly being promoted by the airline and tourism industry, will accelerate the introduction of new weeds, pests and diseases into the country."

Mr Smith said the airline and tourism industries had an undue influence on the review outcome because of the composition of the three person review panel. The panel is headed by Sir Ron Carter, a director of Air New Zealand, with Rick Christie of the Tourism Industry Association being one of the other members. The third member of the panel is former MAF war-horse Peter O'Hara.

"Air New Zealand refuses to show the MAF Quarantine video on incoming international flights, so it comes as no surprise that Sir Ron Carter's review is focussed on increasing the rapidity at which goods and people cross the border rather than strengthening biosecurity and improving the thoroughness of inspection regimes."

Mr Smith said Forest and Bird feared that a border agency combining MAF Quarantine and the Customs Service would diminish the quality of MAF's biosecurity work.

"There is a world of difference between the skills and procedures needed to find the smugglers of pornography or illegal drugs compared to those needed to intercept biological materials which are usually accidentally or unintentionally brought into the country."

"The consequences of a breach of the border are also hugely different between Customs and MAF. Just one gypsy moth egg case slipping through unnoticed could result in the devastation of native forests and huge costs for the plantation forest industry."

Mr Smith said the forest industry also opposed the establishment of a single border agency for similar reasons.

Forest and Bird believes border biosecurity needs to be strengthened through the establishment of a Ministry of Biosecurity combining MAF Quarantine and MAF's Biosecurity Authority.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Preview: Your Heart Looks Like A Vagina By Dominic Hoey

Dominic Hoey’s one-man show Your Heart Looks Like a Vagina, is a dark comedy about the joys of living with autoimmune disease. This one man show will bring together Dominic Hoey’s long career as a performance poet and writer and the experimental theatre experience of Director Nisha Madhan.. More>>

Let The Games Begin: PM Sends Best Wishes To Athletes

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent her warm wishes to the New Zealand athletes preparing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast... More>>


Scoop Review of Books: Martin Edmonds' The Expatriates

This book is an extension of, and tribute to, the life’s work of James McNeish. Without sacrificing any degree of authorial independence, the result is gracefully written, handsomely produced, and likely to propagate many further works of its kind. More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. More>>

Joe Cederwall Review: WOMAD 2018 - Harmony of Difference (part 1)

A friend described WOMAD as his “favourite white middle class celebration of diversity.” There is certainly an echo of truth to this as the crowd is still largely white and middle class, but this WOMAD for me represented that a better world is possible ... More>>

Harmony of Difference (part 2)

Top international world music artists seldom make it down to this neck of the woods, so for those of us into this sort of thing WOMAD is certainly a welcome addition to the cultural calendar. Now it is a case of waiting and looking forward to seeing what they manage to conjure up for next year. More>>

Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland