Image: Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital
Image: Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital

Late last year, BioHeritage made two important connections in Tauranga – as part of a collective effort to create a world-class biosecurity system for Aotearoa New Zealand.

BioHeritage adopted the Port of Tauranga Biosecurity Excellence partnership as one of our three Flagship Sites, and also became part of the newly-formed Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital programme (TMBC).

Flagship Sites provide a pathway to a fundamental shift in the way science and research is carried out in New Zealand.

The port joins our other Flagship Sites, Cape To City and Taranaki Mounga – both large-scale habitat restoration and pest-control projects in the North Island.

TMBC is a collaborative project BioHeritage is proud to support because it aims to shift how we, as a team of 4.7 million New Zealanders, think about biosecurity, how biosecurity connects to our everyday lives, and how people can get involved.

Port of Tauranga is the largest port in the country both in terms of total cargo volume, and container throughput. The Challenge’s involvement with the port supports research on surveillance and the detection of pests at the border being done by the Better Border Biosecurity (B3) science consortium, who share the vision of delivering transformational biosecurity solutions for New Zealand.

It also bolsters the Port of Tauranga’s commitment to use science to support innovation and grow biosecurity excellence.

Innovation is crucial when dealing with the ever-increasing pressure on New Zealand’s border and the many challenges our biosecurity system faces, including continued growth in goods and passengers arriving here, mounting biological risk from offshore and changing climatic conditions.

It’s widely recognised that our biosecurity system and the technologies we rely on today will not cope with future challenges. However, innovation emerging from the science community offers real solutions – the sort of step-change that will be essential to successfully deal with the biosecurity challenges that lie ahead.

Science and research are fundamental to biosecurity, and key to New Zealand’s primary sector growth agenda. Our ability to safely trade and gain market advantage – including the standards and measures we put in place to keep new pests and diseases out – must all be underpinned by robust science.

New Zealand’s biosecurity system needs to be fit for purpose to protect us from current and future threats. We’re striving to achieve greater impact for biosecurity in three ways:

  • Predicting current and future threats
  • State-of-the-art surveillance; and
  • Novel tools and strategies.

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