Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) has won a national biosecurity award for its contribution to the biosecurity integrity of the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.
KVH accepted the Industry Award at the 2018 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards in Auckland last night.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said the award recognised KVH’s contribution to the recovery of the kiwifruit industry following the devastating discovery of Psa in 2010, and its subsequent responsibility for managing all biosecurity readiness, response and operations for the industry.
KVH chairman Dr Dave Tanner said the win recognised KVH’s pivotal role in managing the initial outbreak of the disease and developing robust biosecurity processes and resources to boost the industry’s biosecurity integrity.
“KVH was formed in 2010 as the New Zealand kiwifruit industry reeled from the discovery of Psa,” Dr Tanner said.
“The small team was tasked with working alongside industry and Government to help growers contain and manage Psa. KVH did a great job and was subsequently tasked with responsibility for addressing all possible pests and incursions. The KVH team is hugely dedicated to its role in helping protect the livelihoods of New Zealand kiwifruit growers through monitoring, education, technology, and partnerships with Government and biosecurity agencies.”
KVH chief executive Stu Hutchings said the award celebrated the partnership approach which had ensured the industry was better placed for any future biosecurity event.
“There is no doubt that by working in partnership, we can achieve better biosecurity outcomes. KVH was the first organisation in New Zealand to sign up to a new collaborative arrangement called Government Industry Agreements; an arrangement which enabled Government and industry to share decision-making, responsibilities and costs for incursions.
“We have also embraced a collaborative approach in partnering in the Port of Tauranga Biosecurity Excellence initiative for many years and are founding members of the exciting new Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital programme,” Mr Hutchings said.
Mr Hutchings said recovery from Psa was an achievement of which the entire kiwifruit industry could be proud. KVH and New Zealand growers were passionate supporters of the national strategy of creating a biosecurity team of 4.7 million people.
“We’ve worked hard in the biosecurity space to ensure a resilient and united voice for the kiwifruit industry, and it’s great that our efforts – and those of the people who have worked with us over the years – have been recognised with this award.”
For additional comment: Stu Hutchings, KVH CEO, 0274 787 901