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Frontline Biosecurity Ranks Bolstered

Biosecurity New Zealand has welcomed 17 new quarantine officers to help protect Aotearoa’s borders from invasive pests and diseases.

Eleven officers graduated on Friday after completing an intensive 10-week training programme. They will work at frontline border locations in Auckland to ensure international travellers and imported goods comply with New Zealand’s strict biosecurity rules. The other six new officers have joined Biosecurity New Zealand’s border teams in Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.

The graduates will bolster Biosecurity New Zealand’s frontline ranks as international passenger traffic begins to gather pace following the reopening of borders, says Mike Inglis, Northern Regional Commissioner, Biosecurity New Zealand.

He says Biosecurity New Zealand will have recruited nearly 60 new quarantine officers by the end of this year. There are plans to recruit a further 20 Auckland officers in early 2023.

Of this year’s recruits, 38 will be based in Auckland. In the other regions, 11 new officers have been deployed to Wellington, Queenstown, Timaru and Dunedin. Another 12 will be recruited, including four for Christchurch.

“The recruitment drive puts us a strong position to respond to the increased demand at the border,” says Mike Inglis.

Biosecurity New Zealand also recently welcomed three new detector dog teams in Auckland and has introduced new teams in both Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington.

“We will continue to introduce new detector dogs as passenger volumes rise.”

Tiffany Wearing picked up the He Whaai Whakaaro Award for the top graduate at last week’s ceremony in Auckland. Her previous role at a cargo facility gave her a taste for biosecurity. She is looking forward to putting her new skills into practice at Auckland Airport, where she will be based for the next six months.

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