2018 Biosecurity Awards Winners listed

New Zealand Biosecurity Awards 2018 winners

The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards are an annual event, with the first Awards held in 2017.

Get inspired by the 2018 winners and their stories below.

The 2018 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards winners were announced on 12 November 2018 at the Awards dinner in Auckland. The winners were:


Department of Conservation Community Award

Department of Conservation Community Award

2018 winner: Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society

Project: Restoring kōkako to Mt Pirongia

Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society (PTAKRS) is a voluntary group based in the Waikato. The group manages pests at two 1,000 hectare sites with the goal of restoring kōkako to the area.

The group's work has led to a range of important outcomes, including:

  • the discovery of kōkako with Pirongia DNA
  • funding of research into kōkako genetic diversity
  • inspiring wider public involvement in protecting a key remnant population at Okahukura within the Northern Pureora Forest (a population now recognised as the strongest in the country).

The classification for kōkako as a species has improved from 'threatened' to 'at risk' thanks to the group's work, and kōkako have been restored to Mt Pirongia.


Te Puni Kōkiri Māori Award

Te Puni Kōkiri Māori Award

2018 Winner: Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust 

Project: Tauranga Moana iwi biosecurity efforts

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust submitted this application to support Tauranga Moana iwi and to acknowledge the continued efforts that local kaitiaki are working on to build capacity and awareness in our communities, and to grow biosecurity excellence in Tauranga Moana. 

The Trust does this work in anticipation of the incoming threats that are on our doorstep. With the growth of the Port of Tauranga, and horticultural and agricultural industries in the region booming, the Trust views this as a significant step in the protection of our 'taonga i tuku iho' (cultural treasures and heritage).


Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Industry Award

Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Industry Award

2018 Winner: Kiwifruit Vine Health

Project: Kiwifruit Vine Health

Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) is a leading biosecurity organisation, dedicated to supporting the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. Established in December 2010 by the kiwifruit industry to lead the industry response to the Psa incursion, the organisation is now responsible for managing all biosecurity readiness, response, and operations on behalf of the kiwifruit industry.

Analysis has shown that the cost of the Psa incursion could be up to $885 million over 15 years. Kiwifruit Vine Health's commitment to managing the Psa response for kiwifruit growers has contributed to the remarkable recovery of the kiwifruit industry just 8 years on from this incursion. 

The organisation is a leader in biosecurity readiness and ensuring the industry is better placed for any future incursion, regularly having input into the New Zealand biosecurity system.


Biological Heritage Challenge Science Award

Biological Heritage Challenge Science Award

2018 Winner: Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute)

Project: Protecting New Zealand's primary sector from plant pests; a toolkit for the urban battlefield            

Scion has developed novel approaches that will increase the effectiveness of eradication programmes for insect pests of plants, advancing the effectiveness of New Zealand's biosecurity system by creating world leading pest detection and eradication tools. Pest eradication will improve through:

  • faster and more accurate identification of new pests. An exciting development is a world first tiny, lightweight mobile electroantennogram – an insect antenna combined with an electric circuit that senses miniscule quantities of insect pheromones. Scion implemented this on an unmanned aerial vehicle for rapid and widespread scanning of areas where insect pests may have spread.
  • more effective methods of eradicating pests once they are found in New Zealand. Scion has significantly advanced targeted pesticide spraying tools, increasing efficacy and reducing amounts of spraying required, and developed a new fragmentation eradication model.
  • ensuring social license so that eradication programmes can be rapidly implemented when pests are found. With Scion's Programme Steering Group from central and local government, primary producers and Māori, Scion has co-developed and tested tools that increase government-community engagement in eradication programmes.


Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award & New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award

Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award & New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award

2018 Winner: Environment Southland

Project: Fiordland Marine Pathway Management Plan

With its breathtaking scenery and pristine waters, Fiordland is one of New Zealand's most unique and nationally significant areas – ecologically and economically. It is vital to protect it. Many local and visiting vessels move in and out of the Fiordland Marine Area on a regular basis, each of them carrying the risk of bringing an unwanted marine pest, which could jeopardise the wellbeing of this special area.

A project group developed the Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan (Pathway Plan) to reduce this risk by minimising the pathways for pests. The plan developed under the Biosecurity Act 1993, which is the first of its kind in New Zealand, puts in place rules for all vessels entering the area and requires them to obtain a Clean Vessel Pass, ensuring they know and mitigate any risks.

The development of a formal proposal for a plan was approved in 2014 and the plan was formally adopted and implemented in April 2017. The plan requires a significant degree of voluntary compliance, along with a more formal compliance programme, which is carried out through a joint-agency arrangement.

Environment Southland is responsible for administering the plan. However, its approach to marine biosecurity is very much joint-agency with equal contributions from MPI and DOC as well as the Fiordland Marine Guardians, who are its advisors for such work.


2018 Mondiale Innovation Award

2018 Mondiale Innovation Award

2018 Winner: Jacson3 Limited

Project: Jacson3 and its portable footwear biosecurity system, the Jacson Cube®

Cleaned and disinfected footwear is an important and highly visible first step that sets the tone for biosecurity at the farm, orchard or nursery gate. Hamilton couple Rusty Knutson and Jacqui Humm have invented the Jacson Cube® (the Cube) – a portable footwear biosecurity system. 

The Cube has been designed to improve existing 'clean and disinfect' footwear protocols so that they are faster, easier and safer to implement in a long-term, behaviourally-sustainable manner, particularly for rural professionals and others who move frequently between properties, but also for farmers and growers as a point-of-entry solution.


AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award

AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award

2018 Winner: Dr Amanda Black, Te Kawerau ā Maki

Amanda originally comes from Whakatane and is of Tūhoe, Whakatōhea, and Whānau-ā-Apanui descent. She is senior lecturer at the Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University.

Amanda has not only been a leading scientist in the biosecurity space, she has also been a voice for nature, making sure that the systems for biosecurity improve. She has been a key liaison with Māori in the biosecurity space working for Te Kawerau ā Maki. She is also on Te Roroa, Waipoua Forest Technical Advisory Group for Kauri dieback.

She was also a science leader for the Māori biosecurity programme in the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. This funded myrtle rust and freshwater biosecurity research into freshwater mussels and kōura, and helped establish the Māori biosecurity network – Te Tira Whakamātaki. 


Minister's Biosecurity Award

Minister's Biosecurity Award

2018 Winner: Greg Corbett, Biosecurity Manager, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Greg Corbett has been protecting New Zealand’s farms, forests and waterways from animal pests since 1983. He started his career as an agricultural pest destruction council trainee at the age of 17 with a focus on night-shooting for rabbit control. Today he works as the biosecurity manager for Bay of Plenty Regional Council. There he is leading staff and multi-agency collaborative groups to quantify risk, and develop and deliver innovative monitoring and control methods to tackle emerging new threats to the region’s economy and environment, such as from catfish, dama wallabies and marine pests.

Throughout his career to date, Greg has shown unwavering commitment to growing the pool of biosecurity knowledge and management tools, and has been a key player in a range of biosecurity innovations. He has a proven track record of bringing people, agencies and resources together, and empowering staff and communities, to achieve more as a whole than each could deliver alone.

Greg's practical pest management expertise, spirit of cooperation, ability to lead and empower, and his lifetime commitment to innovation and positive environmental outcomes are what make him so deserving of this award.