Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


New $65m high-security biocontainment lab

Hon Nathan Guy

Minister for Primary Industries


16 June 2014 Media Statement

New $65m high-security biocontainment lab

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says a new $65m high-security biocontainment laboratory announced in Wallaceville today is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to biosecurity.

“The new facility will replace the existing high security laboratory and continue more than 100 years of animal disease diagnostics at the site,” says Mr Guy.

“The existing laboratories and skilled personnel have an essential role in responding to disease outbreaks, protecting public health and providing international trade assurances about New Zealand’s animal disease status.

“While these current labs have a good service record, they are now reaching the end of their design life. This new, fit-for-purpose laboratory facility will be equipped to current international standards, and have better capacity to deal with a large-scale emergency situation, in the unlikely event one should occur.

“Primary industries form the backbone of New Zealand’s economy, with over $20b of exports coming from animal products. A major disease outbreak could halt trade, which could only be resumed through extensive laboratory testing.

“Many of our trade relationships are also dependent on ongoing surveillance and investigation work, such as that currently undertaken at the site on a day-to-day basis,” says Mr Guy.

MPI has commissioned an international company, Merrick, to design the facility. Merrick have designed and built a large number of similar secure containment facilities around the world.

The laboratory is designed to integrate two separate laboratories if NZ has a serious animal disease outbreak and maximum testing capacity is required to help manage the outbreak. Some examples of diseases that could be tested at the facility include Foot and Mouth disease, Anthrax, Brucella, and Avian Flu.

“I’ve made biosecurity my number one priority. A world-standard diagnostic laboratory such as this is a necessity, not a luxury,” says Mr Guy.

There are no live animals held at Wallaceville, and no live animal testing carried out there. This will continue to be the case when the new laboratories are built.

Preparative work is expected to begin on the site next month, with construction planned to begin early next year

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news