Protecting and promoting human health
MPI is responsible for leading, co-ordinating and implementing New Zealand's biosecurity system while balancing the social, economic and cultural costs and benefits. Understanding the human health impacts of all biosecurity activities is essential in delivering on this responsibility. Human health impacts need to be considered across the full spectrum of MPI activities including:
- Risk analysis
- Import Health Standards
- Pest management
- Incursion response
- Operational activities at the border
Additionally, New Zealand's increasing international trade and the large number of inbound travellers means that this country is always at risk from new pests and diseases. A number of these pose a threat to human health, mainly in the form of diseases such as avian influenza or pests such as venomous spiders. MPI also has Pest Management responsibilities relating to established species of potential significance to human health. e.g..
The most common biosecurity threats related to human health are:
- The Asian tiger mosquito (include image)
- Red imported fire ant (include images)
- Widow spiders (include images)
- Gum leaf skeletoniser (Uraba lugens)
Health Impact Assessments
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a systematic way of identifying the potential impacts on the wellbeing and health of the population of any proposed policy, strategy, plan or project, prior to implementation. Once potential impacts have been identified, a set of recommendations for action is prepared, to inform the proposal's decision-making process. They propose practical ways to enhance the positive effects of a proposal and to remove or minimise any negative effects. They focus on potential wellbeing and health impacts and the distribution of those impacts across the population, to ensure that no population groups will be disproportionately affected.
Additional information is available through the Ministry of Health
If you believe you may be suffering from a disease or have seen a dangerous pest, please contact us at 0800 80 99 66 or your nearest hospital.
Page last updated: 30 April 2012