Independent report reveals shortcomings of NZ import systems

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Independent report reveals shortcomings of NZ import systems

An independent report has revealed flaws in New Zealand's processes for importing kiwifruit, pollen, nursery stock, seeds and horticultural equipment, as part of an investigation into the causes of the outbreak of vine disease Psa-V.

The report was released today (Wednesday) by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

"The review was sought to test the adequacy of import health standards and border processes related to kiwifruit plant materials and horticulture equipment and identify what improvements could be made to the biosecurity system as a result," said MPI Director-General Wayne McNee.

"While the review also says that it does not automatically follow that these shortcomings contributed to the entry of Psa-V into New Zealand, improvements are needed, and MPI is moving immediately to implement those improvements.

"The Ministry will implement all six recommendations from the review and will report to the Minister for Primary Industries in three months time on progress."

McNee said the review had found that although the biosecurity risks associated with the importing of goods could never be entirely mitigated, protections could be improved by MPI, industry and Crown Research Institutes working more closely to understand emerging risks.

"This is an important finding and underscores the significance of work MPI is currently doing with primary industries to develop Government Industry Agreements (GIA). Under the GIA, the government and primary industries will partner on biosecurity readiness and response.

"Biosecurity risks are always changing and we need to be constantly improving and adapting our system as well. Identifying improvements where incursions happen is part of the reason why our system is so strong."

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