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New Zealand's Biosecurity Champions Honoured

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.

“These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says.

Linda Peacock, of Kiwifruit Vine Health in Mount Maunganui, received the Minister’s Biosecurity Award, which recognises an individual, group or organisation that has at least 10 years of continuous outstanding contribution to biosecurity in New Zealand.

“Linda is a long-standing, passionate, empathetic, focused, and enthusiastic contributor to our biosecurity system,” Damien O’Connor said. “Linda is a worthy winner of this award – she has led from the grassroots.

“For more than 30 years, Linda has worked collaboratively with growers and technical teams from all growing regions, taking science-based lessons and turning them into easily understood, practical solutions which have saved vast numbers of kiwifruit growers from undue stress and loss.”

A Special Award was won by the New Zealand kiwifruit industry for its outstanding commitment to biosecurity.

“The kiwifruit industry has responded to biosecurity incursions with commitment, foresight, compassion, determination and – perhaps most importantly – collaboration,” Damien O’Connor said.

“It has built pathways to recovery that have led to a sector that is not only at the peak of the food and fibre sectors economically, but is a powerhouse in biosecurity.”

The New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award winner was Māori-owned dairy-processing company Miraka for boosting biosecurity awareness and culture change on-farm.

“These awards acknowledge that our food and fibre sectors, tourism, biodiversity and economy are underpinned by a strong biosecurity system and that it takes all New Zealanders to protect it now and into the future,” Damien O’Connor said.

The full list of New Zealand Biosecurity Award winners is available at thisisus.nz.

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