Federated Farmers Submission on Biosecurity 2025 “Protecting to Grow New Zealand”

The Federation believes that biosecurity is one of the most important issues facing the primary sector. While all primary sector stakeholders have important roles to play around biosecurity, it is incumbent upon MPI to take the primary sector biosecurity leadership role in line with its “Strategy 2030 – growing and protecting New Zealand” focus. 

The Federation believes that, despite increased investment in biosecurity over recent years, by both government and primary sector bodies (around, for example, the very important matter of improving preparedness for, and response, to any future FMD incursion), there remains considerable work still needed to meet the Biosecurity 2025 Mission aim of keeping our natural resources safe from pests and diseases.

From the perspective of the Federation, one of the weaknesses of the current biosecurity “umbrella” is in the pre-border area where it is essential that key components, such as our Import Health Standard system (while having due regard for our international obligations) is maintained in a “fit for purpose” state that protects New Zealand farmers from damaging and costly pest species such as velvet leaf and pea weevil.

With any system only as strong as its weakest link, and our overall biosecurity system comprised of a number of operationally separate but functionally inter-dependant areas, the strength of a document such as Biosecurity 2025 is that it provides the opportunity to improve (and if necessary intervene) at a high level to ensure that any system improvements deemed necessary to deliver are identified and implemented – work that might otherwise not get done if an operational lens alone was guiding development work.