Biosecurity is extremely important for New Zealand as the country relies predominantly on its primary production than other developed countries around the globe. The term biosecurity, when referring to New Zealand, can be defined as the need to prevent entry and establishment of any unwanted organisms on both land and aquatic environments. These organisms can be anything from plants and animals to threats to viruses. In the event of a threat crossing the border, the term biosecurity covers attempts to contain and if that fails, how the threat is controlled and managed (Goldson, 2011).
To have an effective biosecurity system all of New Zealand has to work together. This includes the government, industries and individual New Zealanders. Biosecurity does not just happen at the border; it includes managing risks before they get access to the border as well as within the border (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2009).
It is well recognised that having a risk free border is not possible and as such the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has measures in place to control and manage the biosecurity risks to New Zealand.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) was formed from the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), the Ministry of Fisheries and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) in 2012. The MPI is in charge of New Zealand’s biosecurity system, this includes facilitating trade with other countries, protecting New Zealand citizen’s health and protecting the welfare of New Zealand’s environment and resources (New Zealand, n.d.).
As New Zealand relies heavily on its primary production systems such as agriculture and horticulture, trade with other countries is vital for exporting as well as importing goods. Primary industries in New Zealand, for example milk and milk products, contribute more than 65% of goods exported (Goldson, 2011). Biosecurity is fundamental to the economic security of New Zealand (Provost, 2013).
Risk reduction can be broken down into five areas: Pre-border, border, surveillance, response readiness and eradication, containment and long-term management. According to an article by Wotton & Hewitt (2004) the most effective management strategy for reducing the biosecurity risk of introducing foreign organisms into a country is the management practices pre-border and at the border itself. Risks entering the border can come from imports, vessels, passengers, mail, air and sea.
The first level of risk reduction is pre-border and this is managed by international agreements, import risk analysis, import health standards, pest risk analysis and permits. At the border risk to biosecurity is managed by pathway risk analysis, clearance standards, detector dogs, mail inspection and passenger inspections (Biosecurity New Zealand, 2009). Surveillance is the next level of risk reduction and is an essential part of biosecurity. This involves modelling and sampling, trapping, surveying and...