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MAF launches Biosecurity New Zealand


Monday 1 November 2004

MAF launches Biosecurity New Zealand

A new agency called Biosecurity New Zealand is about to start making life tougher for pests and bugs.

Based within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Biosecurity New Zealand started operation today (November 1).

It replaces the MAF Biosecurity Authority and is responsible for preventing the importation of unwanted pests and diseases, and for controlling, managing or eradicating them should they get past the border.

“The new agency reflects MAF’s expanded mandate and responsibilities in the biosecurity area. It will help provide a fresh start to biosecurity in New Zealand, as envisaged by the Biosecurity Strategy,” says Barry O’Neil, Assistant Director-General, Biosecurity New Zealand.

Under the Biosecurity Strategy, which the government accepted in 2003, MAF will assume overall accountability for New Zealand’s biosecurity efforts.

The changes will see Biosecurity New Zealand pick up responsibility from the Ministry of Fisheries for the management of risks to marine biosecurity. In addition, the coordination of six national pest management programmes is expected to pass from the Department of Conservation to the new agency in July 2005. The agency will also have responsibility for the protection of wider environmental and human health biosecurity values and for ensuring greater responsiveness to Mâori.

Biosecurity New Zealand will work closely with MAF’s new Biosecurity Strategic Unit, which will oversee all biosecurity activity in New Zealand – both inside and outside of MAF, says O’Neil.

The organisation will also have close links to the MAF Quarantine Service (responsible for the delivery of biosecurity services at the border) and other agencies with biosecurity responsibilities.

O’Neil says a new name and branding design for the agency “sends a strong message to domestic and international stakeholders about the wide-reaching changes in the way New Zealand manages biosecurity”.

“The branding is intended to have linkage with MAF but suggest that responsibility for biosecurity extends much wider. “The new logo and other visual identity elements are intended to get people’s attention and highlight the fact that all New Zealanders – not just MAF – need to be vigilant in their efforts to protect New Zealand’s biosecurity,” he says. MAF will officially launch Biosecurity New Zealand at the Biosecurity Summit on November 18. For more information on the summit, go to http://www.maf.govt.nz/biosecurity/biosecurity-summit/index.htm. For a preview of Biosecurity New Zealand’s new visual identity, go to http://www.maf.govt.nz/biosecurity/biosecurity-newbranding.pdf.

ENDS

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