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A community driving biosecurity in Tauranga Moana


01 October 2018

The Tauranga Moana region is leading the country in a coordinated community approach to biosecurity.

Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital (TMBC) is a coalition of Tauranga Moana iwi, community groups, industry and business, councils, central government, science and education representatives, all intent on taking action towards biosecurity excellence.

TMBC, which formally launches in mid-October, embodies Ko Tātou This Is Us and one of the lead initiatives of the campaign, to build a biosecurity team of 4.7 million.

TMBC co-chair Carlton Bidois says biosecurity is important to everything that’s loved about Tauranga Moana - the people, culture, local industries, businesses and jobs, forests, waterways, and moana.

“Pests and diseases could devastate our region and take away some of these things we love, literally overnight.”

He says keeping invasive unwanted organisms at bay matters to anyone who enjoys harvesting kaimoana from the sea or interacting with the region’s iconic mountains and native forests.

“It also affects anyone earning a living and operating a business in the Bay of Plenty, where our economy is dependent on the natural environment.

“A single organism like the brown marmorated stink bug or fruit fly could bankrupt the horticultural sector and its families overnight. Kauri dieback and myrtle rust could devastate our iconic kauri and other indigenous tree species, severing the inherent cultural genealogy and traditions Maori have with the natural world.”

Carlton says the new coalition has formed on the basis that it takes a community to successfully tackle biosecurity threats.

“We all need to be vigilant and play our part, whether that’s in our ngahere, at the port, in our orchards, in our back yard, out on the water.”

TMBC will launch at a biosecurity excellence symposium in Tauranga on October 16. The group is also co-ordinating a week-long series of biosecurity-related events around the region, including Manaaki Mauao, where community members will learn how to look out for myrtle rust and protect their maunga, and a marine pests workshop at Tauranga Bridge Marina to help locals protect the region from marine pests.

Carlton says TMBC is already attracting interest from other communities, in the Waikato and Taranaki.

“There is nothing like it anywhere else in New Zealand and we think we can really lead the way here in Tauranga Moana.”

Learn more about TMBC and the visits, follow them on Facebook