Biosecurity Funding Boosted Again
Funding boost for biosecurity
Funding for biosecurity programmes has been increased again, Acting Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs said today.
New operating expenditure of $11.746 million is to be spent over the next four financial years to strengthen our capability to respond to an increasing number of biosecurity threats in New Zealand, Ms Hobbs said.
"This Government is committed to improving New Zealand's biosecurity and border control measures.
" From the moment we became Government in 1999, we have demonstrated this commitment by tightening border control standards, screening 100 per cent of all postal items as well as all air crew and passenger baggage."
The Government was not being complacent though, Ms Hobbs said, and had commissioned a $1 million research project to improve biosecurity measures for sea freight.
"If it is possible to tighten border controls and enhance New Zealand's biosecurity measures, this Government will do it."
The new funding from Budget 2002 will go towards laboratory services provided by the Ministry of Agriculture as well as other biosecurity initiatives within MAF including funding for new research into varroa, increased resources for core activity, improved surveillance, and ongoing support for a biosecurity awareness programme.
Ms Hobbs said the biosecurity awareness campaign, Protect New Zealand campaign, has been supported by a shift to ongoing annual funding of $350,000. This had been facilitated by the Green Party, she said.