Independent report on Psa released
4 July 2012
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released the findings of an independent review of import requirements and border processes following an outbreak of the kiwifruit vine disease, Psa-V, in New Zealand.
“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,” MPI Director-General Wayne McNee said today.
“The review has found shortcomings in the way MPI’s (then MAF) systems and processes were applied to the importation of kiwifruit, kiwifruit pollen, kiwifruit nursery stock, kiwifruit seeds and horticultural equipment, prior to the Psa outbreak.
“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,” Mr McNee said.
“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.”
Mr 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.”
Mr McNee said although improvements had been identified, New Zealand has a world class biosecurity system.
“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,” he said.
The review findings and MPI’s action plan to address those findings is available at http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/kiwifruit-vine-disease
Barbara Crocker, ph 04-8943427, cell 027 7393837
Or MPI Mediaphone 029-894 0328