Building regional biosecurity capacity

TMBC co-chairs Graeme Marshall and Carlton Bidois with the MoU, with Biosecurity NZ’s John Walsh (middle) in Tauranga. Photo: Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media.

A new Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital and Biosecurity NZ is seen as significant move forward in recognising collective commitment towards achieving best outcomes for biosecurity here in the Bay of Plenty.

TMBC signed the MoU with Biosecurity NZ mid-July to build regional capability in preparation for any future biosecurity incursions.

From the move, TMBC will now identify skills and expertise across its network and then work with Biosecurity NZ and other partners to train and prepare champions across the region who can participate and support a biosecurity response – should an unwanted pest or disease reach our shores.     

TMBC’s co-chair Graeme Marshall says it’s a significant move forward in recognising TMBC’s collective commitment towards achieving the best outcomes for biosecurity and the positive impact of collaborating to support NZ’s biosecurity system.  “It takes all of us to protect what we love about Tauranga Moana and the wider Bay of Plenty Region,” says Graeme.

“Covid-19 demonstrated clearly that if we have a robust plan and people who are capable of implementing that plan, then the response is likely to be far more effective.

“That’s what this is about – strengthening our local awareness and preparedness to minimise risks and limit potential damage from pests and diseases.”

As has been seen with the successful KiwiNet model, whereby members of the kiwifruit industry are prepared to support biosecurity responses, TMBC will look to identify and train members of their network who can be deployed in a biosecurity response.

Biosecurity NZ’s director of readiness and response, John Walsh, says this agreement is a reflection of the commitment from the TMBC network to demonstrate a real sense of ownership to deal with biosecurity challenges at a local level. 

“Biosecurity NZ is pleased to support this capacity building initiative and we look forward to continuing to grow the relationship,” says John.


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