Biosecurity Act 1993
MPI administers the Biosecurity Act. It provides a legal basis for excluding, eradicating and effectively managing pests and unwanted organisms, and its powers can be variously used by MPI, other government agencies, regional councils and pest management agencies. It is an enabling tool that provides a range of functions, powers and options for the management of risk organisms.
Management options under the Biosecurity Act are:
- import and border controls aimed at effective management of risks associated with the importation of risk goods, including treatment of contaminated goods and craft;
- access to Part VI powers for organisms declared unwanted organisms;
- exigency actions where other options are not adequate or available;
- national pest management strategies that provide access to powers and rules by any organisation that is declared a pest management agency. Any response must be undertaken within those powers or rules, unless the strategy is subsequently amended or revoked in accordance with the Biosecurity Act;
- regional pest management strategies (mainly administered by regional councils);
- access by regional councils to powers in the Biosecurity Act for small-scale management programmes under section 100 of the Act without needing to have a pest management strategy; and
- enforcement of section 52 and 53 prohibitions (which make it an offence to sell, propagate, breed, release or display an unwanted organism or pest)
Where possible voluntary support for response actions will be sought, however response actions may invoke use of powers under the Biosecurity Act where needed.
Page last updated: 19 October 2012