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Ko Tātou This Is Us – It takes all of us to protect Aotearoa

Ko Tātou This Is Us – It takes all of us to protect Aotearoa

A new programme launched today by Biosecurity 2025 sets out to build a biosecurity team of 4.7 million New Zealanders.

The programme highlights the personal connection of biosecurity to people’s lives and demonstrates that every New Zealander has an essential role helping to protect Aotearoa from pests and diseases.

“Right now it’s hard to ignore biosecurity,” says Roger Smith, Chair of the Biosecurity 2025 Steering Group and Head of Biosecurity New Zealand.

“Where once it may have seemed a farming or horticulture concern and something the government did, incursions such as myrtle rust, kauri dieback and Mycoplasma bovis, have made it to the mainstream news. Biosecurity issues are increasingly relevant to all of us.”

“Ko Tātou This Is Us is an independent biosecurity brand that emphasises how biosecurity helps protect everything that shapes our way of life, from the outdoor environment where we farm, fish, hunt and explore, to the food we enjoy eating, and the beautiful biodiversity this country provides,” says Amber Bill, Biosecurity 2025 Steering Group member and Director Threats, Biodiversity Group, at the Department of Conservation.

Graeme Marshall, Biosecurity 2025 Steering Group member and Chairperson of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee says Ko Tātou This Is Us is supported by a very visible public campaign.

“It calls every New Zealander to think about their role in biosecurity, how it protects their way of life and the things they love, and how they can be part of the 4.7 million biosecurity team.”

Ko Tātou This Is Us, aims to connect all biosecurity participants and existing programmes and activities across the system, while also encouraging more programmes to emerge. The brand can be used by businesses, organisations, iwi and community groups to identify how they are committing to biosecurity or to promote their biosecurity-related programmes and activities.

Ko Tātou This Is Us is something for all businesses to consider and connect with. Biosecurity is fundamentally important to our economy and to the communities we live and do business in,” says Kimberly Crewther, Biosecurity 2025 Steering Group member and Executive Director of Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ).

“We all benefit from growing world trade and tourism. By taking a proactive approach to biosecurity, New Zealand businesses will protect these benefits and avoid unnecessary costs and disruptions. Dairy companies will be an active part of New Zealand’s biosecurity team of 4.7 million and we encourage other businesses to do the same.”

The public campaign launched today includes a thought-provoking video, featuring a kuia looking back on her life and urging New Zealanders to understand that everything which shapes our way of life is finite and fragile and we must all play our part in protecting it from pests and diseases.

Another element for the campaign involves New Zealand social media influencers who represent a broad range of activities and occupations. They have created videos, which highlight their own personal connection to biosecurity, why biosecurity matters to them, and what’s at stake for their way of life or livelihood.

A selection of these influencers include Pro XC Mountain Bike racer and Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, Anton Cooper; TV personality and owner of the largest and most award-winning cooking school in Australasia, Sachie Nomura; and Big Angry Fish hosts Milan Radonich and Nathan O’Hearn.

“We encourage all New Zealanders to be part of the 4.7 million biosecurity team and work together to keep Aotearoa safe from pests and diseases. Ko Tātou This Is Us,” says Roger Smith.

Get involved: visit thisisus.nz

Facebook page www.facebook.com/kotatouthisisus

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXt78_EoxeNe6LFf3Z1bvEw

Background information:

· Ko Tātou This Is Us is part of a programme that sits under Biosecurity 2025 and is supported by Biosecurity New Zealand, a business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries, and the wider biosecurity community.

· Biosecurity 2025 is a partnership between people, organisations, Māori, and central, local and regional government. Its aim is to make New Zealand’s biosecurity system more resilient and future-focused to protect New Zealand from pests and diseases.

· In the face of increasing pressures, including the changing scale and complexity of global trade and travel, and climate change, it’s more important than ever that we have a strong and resilient biosecurity system.

· The importance and enormity of the biosecurity task means that it is vital for every New Zealander to pitch in. Biosecurity requires a team effort where every New Zealander is taking action to mitigate biosecurity risks at home, at work, when they travel and within their communities.

· One of the main themes for Biosecurity 2025 is to build a biosecurity team of 4.7 million – all New Zealanders.

· The underlying aim is to create a movement that connects and aligns all the actions and activities by individuals, businesses, hapū/iwi and communities across the biosecurity system and encourages further action. This movement shows all New Zealanders, both individuals and businesses, that they are essential in helping strengthen our biosecurity system and every small action towards better biosecurity is important.

· Baseline research completed in early 2018 shows that a high majority of New Zealanders have a good understanding of biosecurity and think it is important. However, it also shows that only a very small percentage of New Zealanders (2%) think that there are personal consequences for their lives when a biosecurity breach occurs. This suggests they think that biosecurity is someone else’s problem and does not directly impact New Zealanders’ everyday lives, passions and loves. People do not currently see biosecurity as being personally relevant.


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