A shared vision for marine biosecurity


01-12-2018 10:00 am

In November 2018, a marine biosecurity workshop was held as part of the Biosecurity New Zealand Forum. The aim of the workshop was to discuss and come up with ideas around what a shared vision might look like for marine biosecurity and how we’ll bring the rest of New Zealand on board with that vision.

"I was really impressed with the commitment shown to the marine environment by those who attended the workshop and the ideas that came through at the session,” says Dr Andrew Bell, Manager Border and Biosecurity Systems at the Ministry for Primary Industries. “We had representatives from industry, community, local and regional councils and researchers, as well as from the public sector and all of their perspectives added real value to the session.”

What was learnt

  • There’s a lot of passion out there to protect a healthy marine environment and we need to share this passion far and wide to bring all New Zealanders on-board.
  • There’s more than one vision – ‘He waka eke noa – we are all in this waka’. We need to be inclusive to achieve multiple visions – from the mountains to the sea and beyond.
  • Remove the legal barriers stopping community members removing marine pests – e.g. fanworms, paddle crabs. These barriers seem to contradict the fact that we’re trying to get 4.7 million New Zealanders to take action. Dr Bell said, “We’ll be looking at this as we work through the Biosecurity Act review.”
  • Iwi, communities, industry, local and central government have important leadership roles to play.
  • There’s already lots of things happening now and even more opportunities on the horizon. 

What happens next

“The findings from the workshop are going to be shared with the Biosecurity 2025 Steering Group and we will discuss what happens next,” says Dr Bell. “We’ll keep people informed on the progress of a shared vision through our Biosecurity 2025 e-newsletter.”