FAQs related to Surveillance, Response & Management
Six workshops will be held to present the draft strategy, explain the approach taken, answer questions and provide information. The dates and locations for the workshops are listed in the table below. For more information, or to express interest, please send us an email at NZBiosecuritySurveillance@maf.govt.nz
|Public workshops on the draft Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy|
|Auckland||30 September 2008|
|Rotorua||1 October 2008|
|Auckland||8 October 2008|
|Wellington||9 October 2008|
|Wellington||14 October 2008|
|Christchurch||16 October 2008|
You can submit them to us by email at NZBiosecuritySurveillance@maf.govt.nz – full instructions and a feedback form are in the draft strategy, available from the consultation webpage.
We are particularly interested in receiving your comments on:
- A vision for the future of biosecurity surveillance
- Some goals for biosecurity surveillance in the areas of:
- leading biosecurity surveillance
- working together
- delivering quality surveillance
- sharing information
- Priority areas for action
- Mechanisms to monitor and manage the implementation of the strategy
- The draft Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy is a starting point, developed for the purpose of stimulating ideas and encouraging feedback. It is a work in progress, and needs your input to ensure that the goals we set are appropriate.
- When complete, the Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy will guide the decision making by Government in the area of biosecurity surveillance for the next 10 years. This will be achieved by providing goals and priority actions, so it is important that the strategy meets the expectations of those with a role or interest in biosecurity surveillance. We need your input to make sure this happens.
- Everyone who will be involved in working together needs to be commited to the goals we are trying to achieve. Without this commitment, progress will be slow or non existent. The widest range of input will ensure that the strategy is one that people with a role or interest in biosecurity surveillance can commit to.
- The process for monitoring the way the strategy is put into action needs to be appropriate, so all those with a role or interest in the system can have confidence in the monitoring. Your input is needed as to how this should be done.
Biosecurity surveillance is the collection, collation, analysis, interpretation and timely dissemination of information on the presence, distribution or prevalence of pests or diseases and the plants or animals that they affect.
The surveillance strategy will look at surveillance needs and approaches for pests and diseases that impact on the environment, economy, human health, and our way of life. For surveillance for pests and diseases of concern to industry, both the draft surveillance strategy and the proposed framework for joint agreements will take the consistent approach that those benefiting from surveillance should have a role in managing and resourcing those activities.
The draft framework is a set of arrangements that would enable Government and primary industries to work closely on readiness and responses to pests and diseases that are likely to directly impact on primary industries. It would involve government and primary industries coming together to decide in advance how to react to some of the issues of importance to these organisations, for example what pests and diseases are of interest, how should readiness be managed, resource sharing. If an incursion of a pest or disease occurred, MAF and the affected industries would jointly decide on how to respond. Further information is available here.
When submissions close, we will review and update the strategy. Once the goals to achieve have been agreed and the final version of the strategy is completed, MAFBNZ will develop a plan of action to meet the goals in the strategy. This will involve prioritising actions and developing a timeline. As a major component of the strategy involves working together, we will seek comment from those with a role or interest in biosecurity surveillance, and work with them to make it happen. The Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy aims to meet the goals by 2020, so we anticipate that actions will be staged over the next ten years.
A "zero risk" border is not possible for several reasons. No suite of preventative measures at the border can ever be 100% effective. There are also some risk pathways that cannot be controlled by interventions at the border, for example organisms introduced by migratory wild species. In light of this, post-border activities, including surveillance, are often cost effective and sometimes the only suitable risk mitigation measures available. New Zealand has to carefully maintain the balance between trade and risk - New Zealand exports would likely not be welcome in other countries if we had a ban on the import of foreign goods. In addition, there are many pests and diseases already in New Zealand and surveillance activities are vital in supporting management or eradication of these risks.
No, developing the strategy is a MAF funded project reflecting MAF Biosecurity New Zealand's over-arching leadership role. However, other stakeholders are expected to directly contribute 'in kind' by shaping the direction and content of the strategy through participation in meetings, workshops and by providing written submissions. Looking further ahead, in future it is envisaged that people and organisations with a role or interest in biosecurity surveillance will begin or continue to contribute directly to surveillance activities, and in some cases these contributions may increase.
Yes, but possibly not for some time to come. As part of implementing the strategy. MAFBNZ will review all of the surveillance programmes that we are responsible for and other stakeholder organisations may do so too. These reviews are likely to focus on the purpose, scope and delivery methods employed and whether the most appropriate organisations are involved in directing the activities. Any significant proposed developments arising from this process, including alternative options, will be discussed with all parties likely to be affected.
The draft Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy is available for public consultation from 8 September – 5 November. You can download a copy of the draft strategy from the consultation webpage, or send us an email if you need a hard copy. You can send comments to us at NZBiosecuritySurveillance@maf.govt.nz
Yes! The strategy will be a broad outline of the direction that we plan to go in. We will need detailed plans to get us to those goals. We will need to get input from all participants in biosecurity surveillance to make sure the detailed plans will work, and have broad support.
The Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy has been developed to help protect what New Zealanders value the most - our health, economy and social and cultural values. Accordingly, the strategy will apply to biosecurity surveillance in all areas of primary production and the natural environment, from livestock farming to marine habitat conservation. The central themes of the Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy will be: leading biosecurity surveillance, working together, delivering quality surveillance and sharing information. These represent key areas into which strategic goals will be grouped.
Stakeholder updates are sent out by email, every 4-6 weeks. Here is an archive of updates. If you'd like to go on our update list, or have any questions about the strategy development, please email us: NZBiosecuritySurveillance@maf.govt.nz.
The strategy is being developed and implemented in three stages:
- Identification of the current state of the biosecurity surveillance system. This will give us a baseline against which to measure progress. Completed
- Development of the Biosecurity Surveillance strategy - a cohesive vision, principles and approaches for the future biosecurity surveillance system. In Progress
- Implementation - putting the strategy into action
|Anticipated External Stakeholder Comment and Review Periods|
|Limited release of the review of the Current State of biosecurity surveillance for comment and validation by key external experts||Completed|
|Limited release of the draft Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy for initial comments by key stakeholders||Completed|
|Release of the draft Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy for public consultation||8 September - 5 November 2008|
|Release of the final Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy||Mid-2009|
By harnessing the collective efforts of all participants and by providing agreed and coordinated direction of activities, the development and implementation of the Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy is expected to result in:
- improved collaboration, coordination and a more integrated approach through clarification of the roles and responsibilities of contributors to the biosecurity surveillance system
- more efficient use of resources through collaborative working and formal, risk-based prioritisation of surveillance
- high quality biosecurity surveillance activities and outputs that give all stakeholders improved confidence in New Zealand’s biosecurity system
- equitable decision-making and increased resourcing options for biosecurity surveillance activities arising from an agreed model for working together
- increased value from biosecurity surveillance activities by improving handling, analysis and sharing of data between users of biosecurity surveillance information
A review of New Zealand's biosecurity surveillance system in 2002 by Prime Consulting International identified several areas of weakness in New Zealand's biosecurity surveillance system. While there were also positive areas, a list of recommendations for improvement were presented. However, many of those have not been implemented since the time of the review.
Shortly following the report of the Prime Review, Tiakina Aotearoa - Protecting New Zealand, our Biosecurity Strategy, was released. This too has recommendations for surveillance, some of which are yet to be implemented.
Due to the passage of time, some recommendations from previous reviews are no longer relevant - and we think it's important to look to the future to create a cohesive vision for biosecurity surveillance and consistent principles and approaches.
New Zealand needs an agreed Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy to establish common ground among stakeholders as to the long term direction of biosecurity surveillance and to improve coordination and cooperation among participants. Once completed, the strategy will provide a consistent guide for the delivery of activities designed to meet the biosecurity surveillance strategic objectives.
Danios are a species of tropical fish popular with ornamental fish enthusiasts. They come in many varieties, including the striped Zebra danio. The species Danio rerio is a permitted species for import to New Zealand. Genetically modified danio, however, are not permitted entry for the aquarium trade.
At the time we were acting on the best information available. The importer believed the fish were dyed (which is apparently not uncommon in aquarium fish circles). A veterinarian inspected the fish under UV light (used to pick up fluorescence which is a tell-tale sign of GM in this case). No obvious fluorescence was observed and the importer’s assertion that they were dyed was entirely plausible.
We do have to concede that finding and euthanasing all the fish involved is going to be challenging. Even so, we are attempting the most comprehensive job we can. New Zealand has laws around this and it needs to be clear that there are consequences to illegally importing, possessing and selling GM organisms. In the end we will be relying on good public information in this response.
We are using various tracing methodologies to try to locate all the fish from both the original consignment and sales records. MAF BNZ will also be working directly with members of the aquarium fish community for information and seeking their support in tracing fish.
The fish were put to sleep with an aquatic anaesthetic - a product that is registered for anaesthetising and euthanasing fish, and is safe for handlers.
The anaesthetic was administered first to sedate the fish into a state of anaesthesia, after which they were overdosed. The fish were monitored at all times for any signs of distress. A vet with experience in fish health was consulted in order to choose the most humane method for euthanasia.
Once dead, the fish were treated as biohazard waste, bagged accordingly, and disposed of in a method approved by ERMA for the disposal of suspect genetically modified organisms (incineration).
Preliminary results of genetic tests undertaken in a UK laboratory on two of the suspect red/pink danios have shown a positive response for the red fluorescent protein gene, indicating the fish are GM.
See media release MAF Biosecurity New Zealand acts on GM aquarium fish in New Zealand 19 July 2007
Anyone can submit proposals for plants to be added or removed from the Accord list at any time. Proposals will be held by the Ministry for Primary Industries until there are enough to justify a review, unless there is some urgency involved with adding or removing the proposed species.
The National Pest Plant Accord (the Accord), developed in 2001, is a cooperative agreement between the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and government departments with biosecurity responsibilities.
It identifies plants that are unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993. These plants cannot be sold, propagated or distributed in New Zealand.
The Accord is not a pest management strategy. It is a non-statutory agreement between member parties. The process followed to establish and review the Accord is very different and completely separate from processes to establish and review pest management strategies.
The Ministry for Primary Industries seeks public submissions on the risk assessments carried out by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The Accord Steering Group (made up of representatives from the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and the Department of Conservation) considers the submissions when it decides on any changes to the Accord list. The Steering Group also works with industry to implement any changes to the Accord list.
No, not all species will be included on the Accord.
Technically, a ban comes into effect when the plant is determined to be an unwanted organism by the Chief Technical Officer but regional councils do not enforce the ban for the first six months, to ensure that all outlets are aware the plant is banned.
The Steering Group of the Accord decides which species are included on the Accord.
The Steering Group is the decision-making body and has oversight for the Accord. It comprises representatives from the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and the Department of Conservation.