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Everyone part of biosecurity team: govt

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/07/2016

The government wants ordinary Kiwis to play a bigger role in New Zealand's biosecurity system.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy on Tuesday unveiled the new Biosecurity 2025 discussion document, which sets out a broad plan for protecting New Zealand's land and water from harmful pests and diseases.

While the country's biosecurity system is doing its job, it's coming under pressure from growing trade and tourism, higher volumes of mail parcels, climate change and established pests.

"The primary sector is a significant part of New Zealand's economy, making up around half of all our exports. We need to protect our producers from unwanted pests and diseases," Mr Guy said.

"In the future we can expect challenges from an increasing number of tourists and imports bringing a greater diversity of risks. Opportunities from new technologies will better connect people and information to identify and quickly act on risks."

There are five key areas of focus:

* Making every New Zealander and New Zealand business "part of the biosecurity team"

* Making the best use of innovation, science and technology

* Using all available information to better inform risk management in real time

* System-wide leadership and inclusive governance

* A capable and sustainable workforce and world-class infrastructure.

Submissions on the discussion document close on September 9.

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