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Report a reminder of importance of MAF biosecurity

Report a reminder of importance of MAF biosecurity

The recent report released by the Auditor-General into managing biosecurity risks associated with high-risk sea containers serves as a reminder both of the significant importance of our public service and the necessity to properly resource it, PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff said today.

"Protecting New Zealand agriculture and industry from unwanted pests and diseases is a crucial role and is an area in which we cannot afford to take risks. While PSA members working for MAF Quarantine Services are dedicated to their jobs, they can only do what is possible with the resources they have available to them.

"As the Auditor-General himself points out, more than half a million sea containers are imported into the country each year. It is imperative that the ministry ensures staff are fully equipped to be able to properly carry out their job in checking and screening each of these containers."

Richard Wagstaff said the Auditor-General commented that the ministry is responsive to emerging risks but that a revised Import Health Standard for sea containers was not yet fully in place.

"Some work has been done which is a good start, but more is obviously needed and very soon."


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