Parliament

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

 

Stronger biosecurity to protect primary sector

Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Biosecurity
Minister for Rural Communities
Minister for Food Safety


17 May 2018


Stronger biosecurity to protect the foundations of our primary sector

The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector, says Agriculture, Biosecurity, Rural Communities and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor.

“New Zealand’s flora, fauna and livestock are the foundations of our primary sector, rural communities and economy,” says Damien O’Connor.

“It has become clear that further investment in biosecurity is needed as our global trade and tourist numbers increase. We’ve just had our busiest biosecurity summer on record, with 2 million passengers screened at the border between December and February and 4,000 fines handed out – mostly for undeclared fresh produce, which can carry the destructive fruit fly.

“When I took up this job six months ago, the Ministry for Primary Industries had several biosecurity responses under way – including Mycoplasma bovis, myrtle rust, Bonamia ostreae and kauri dieback. We have also had to turn around ships carrying the brown marmorated stink bug – a pest that would devastate not only our horticulture sector but homes and gardens as well.

“The Coalition Government’s biosecurity initiatives receive $9.3 million in new operating funding in Budget 2018 over the next four years to improve our offshore biosecurity systems to better manage the risks posed by imports. We will also speed up the review of import health standards.

“Our plan makes sure the exotic pests and diseases that could devastate our economy and wildlife have less chance of making it here in the first place, giving growers and farmers greater certainty about the health of their crops and animals.

“This Government’s leadership will improve the resilience of our primary sector. We moved quickly this year to put up $85 million new operating funding in 2017/18 for the frontline response to Mycoplasma bovis in partnership with the primary sector.

“We will provide an update on the next steps of our plan to deal with Mycoplasma bovis in coming weeks. This disease is a regrettable example of why we need to properly fund biosecurity in New Zealand. Budget 2018 marks the first steps in rebuilding the foundations of our primary sector.

“The performance of rural communities is critical to this Government’s aspirations to transform our economy into one that is sustainable for future generations. A chief concern for me has been the underfunding of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) during a time of increasing workload.

“Budget 2018 addresses this with new operating funding of $38 million over two years for MPI to ensure our primary sector is well supported by Government initiatives as we work together to grow New Zealand’s reputation as the most trusted source of sustainable and premium natural products in the world.

“This Government is already reorganising MPI to house four business units so officials can concentrate on their core responsibilities of biosecurity, food safety, fisheries and forestry.

“People around the world are increasingly buying products that align with their values. New Zealand has a natural advantage, with a good record of animal welfare, grass-fed stock and brand recognition. We are determined to help this continue by properly funding MPI and our critical biosecurity system,” says Damien O’Connor.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages