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Single site links four expert diagnostic centres

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Research Science and Technology

15 May 2008 Embargoed until 5.30pm Media Statement

Single site links four expert diagnostic centres


The last major piece of the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease has been put in place with the opening of the new Environmental Services Research (ESR) science centre, Pete Hodgson, Minister for Research, Science and Technology said today.

The National Centre (NCBID), which is expected to be formally completed and opened next calendar year, links the expertise of several organisations on one site at Wallaceville in Wellington’s Hutt Valley for the first time. It provides centralised coordination and emergency response for disease outbreaks, biosecurity investigations, and chemical and biological threats and events.

Opening the $5 million ESR science centre, Pete Hodgson said the NCBID comprised AsureQuality’s biosecurity facilities, AgResearch’s infectious disease diagnostic facility and the new ESR Science Centre and the Biosecurity New Zealand Investigation and Diagnostic Centre (MAF).

“Together, these organisations will draw on the collective experiences, knowledge and resources that will support New Zealand’s biosecurity strategy,” Pete Hodgson said.

“The establishment of ESR’s new Science Centre comes at a time of increasing world concern about disease transmission from animals to humans. The animal and human health scientists here will provide expertise in the surveillance and forecasting of infectious diseases such as SARS and Avian flu and counter-terrorism.”

ESR is a Crown research institute (CRI) which specialises in public health, environmental health, and forensic services, with almost 400 staff members in Porirua, Christchurch, Auckland, and now Wallaceville. The Minister of Research, Science and Technology is a shareholding Minister of ESR.

ENDS

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