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Biosecurity heroes recognised at Parliament

Biosecurity heroes recognised at Parliament

Biosecurity heroes from across the country were recognised in Wellington tonight with the announcement of the 2017 New Zealand Biosecurity Award recipients.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy says the winners of these inaugural awards have shown a real commitment to protecting New Zealand.

“Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister and crucial in protecting our economy and way of life. These awards recognise that it is a shared responsibility for all New Zealanders, and celebrate the efforts of people who are doing their bit for biosecurity every day.

“The Supreme and Government Awards go to the Department of Conservation for The Great White Butterfly Eradication Project. This is well-deserved and the first time an unwanted butterfly population has been eradicated anywhere in the world.

“Biosecurity Excellence at Port of Tauranga received the Industry award for their partnership with industry and government to build a port community committed to biosecurity excellence with the aim of no biosecurity incursions coming through their port.

“For the category awards, the Maori Award winner was Te Tira Whakamataki – the Maori Biosecurity Network which was established in 2015 to help understand how Maori knowledge, interests and values can be embedded in New Zealand’s biosecurity system.

“The Community Award went to the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, Wildside Project for their predator control programmes that have been running successfully for over 30 years with the majority of support coming from landowners and the wider community.

“It was my pleasure to hand over the Minister’s Biosecurity Award to Don McKenzie from Northland Regional Council which recognises an individual who has made over 10 years of continuous outstanding contribution to biosecurity in New Zealand. Don is a leader in regional biosecurity who has worked tirelessly in Northland delivering world leading programmes.

"Due to the high calibre of entries, we decided to award Highly Commended to five entrants in the categories for their contribution to biosecurity in New Zealand.

“The work of tonight’s winners is critical to protecting our taonga and ensuring our biosecurity system remains resilient and effective. It reflects a key theme of the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement of a ‘Biosecurity team of 4.7 million’.

“In this year’s Budget we boosted biosecurity funding to nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. This has helped MPI employ 50 new biosecurity staff and 20 extra biosecurity detector dog teams, along with new x-ray machines, a border clearance levy and the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement.”

More information on the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards is available at: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/about-mpi/our-work/conferences-and-events/new-zealand-biosecurity-awards


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