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PESTS AND DISEASES OF FORESTRY IN NEW ZEALAND

Forestry and Government sign up to share biosecurity readiness and response

November 2015: The Government Industry Agreement (GIA) is a partnership-driven approach to managing biosecurity readiness and response. It provides industry with a seat at the table with the Ministry for Primary Industries to participate in important decisions during an incursion or eradication response. Importantly, it takes that partnership approach a step further by also sharing responsibilities (and costs through a negotiated process) for being prepared for incursions that could threaten our primary industries. The kiwifruit industry through Kiwifruit Vine Health was the first to sign in May 2014, and since then another five industries have signed: Pipfruit New Zealand, New Zealand Pork, New Zealand Equine Health Association, and Onions New Zealand. The commercial plantation forestry sector represented by the NZ Forest Owners Association being the most recent industry to sign on 5 November 2015.

From left Associate Minister Jo Goodhew, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, FOA Chief Executive David Rhodes, and Lindsay Bulman at the signing.

I was honoured to be invited to witness the signing of the GIA Deed at Parliament. Having a long interest in forest biosecurity it was very pleasing to take part in a process that marked the start of a formal partnership to provide joint decision making on biosecurity matters. I’m confident that the partnership will strengthen New Zealand’s ability to maintain the health of our plantation forests. Both Minister Nathan Guy and Chief Executive David Rhodes reiterated that by speaking about the importance of managing and dealing with biosecurity risks.

Associate Minister Goodhew added that MPI has worked with the forestry sector in biosecurity surveillance for over 50 years and the relationship will be further enhanced under GIA.

The first meeting after signing has already taken place, where options for the forestry Operational Agreement that will underpin the GIA Deed were discussed.

Lindsay Bulman

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