18 Apr 2015

Govt announces biosecurity review

8:44 am on 18 April 2015

The Government has announced a review of biosecurity, the first of its kind in 12 years.

New Zealand Biosecurity Services.

New Zealand Biosecurity Services. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The project has been dubbed Biosecurity 2025, and will update and replace the 2003 biosecurity strategy.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said that if exports are to double by 2025, an effective biosecurity system was needed.

He said the recent fruit fly outbreak in Auckland showed that the system is facing ever-increasing pressures from growing international trade, greater mobility of people, and increasingly complex global supply chains.

Mr Guy said the public and industry groups could and would be consulted.

The review will be peer-reviewed by three people.

Mr Guy hoped to have the peer review completed by the end of the year.

The Labour Party said the review is a long time coming, its primary industries spokesperson Damien O'Connor said the review and its decision to review bag-screening at airports is an admission of failure.

Screening of bags stopped four years ago.

He said a 2013 Auditor-General's report also identified a large number of deficiencies in the system.

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