Biosecurity Awards finalists named

Ethan McCormick, right, of Pest Free Howick Ward and Friends of Mangemangeroa.

The 2021 Biosecurity Awards finalists named on Friday show the huge effort under way to protect New Zealand from pests and diseases.

Local groups feature among the finalists.

The 24 finalists named out of a record number of 90 entries include an iwi partnering with local and central government to eradicate wilding pines from their local taonga, Ruawāhia/Mount Tarawera, and a school on Stewart Island/Rakiura whose efforts are keeping Ulva Island pest free.

Biosecurity efforts have even expanded into space, with Xerra Earth Observation Institute’s leading-edge software which is helping protect Aotearoa from pests via international shipping.

Judging panel chairman Dr Ed Massey says the finalists represent a diverse range of individuals, teams, businesses, government agencies, research organisations, iwi, schools and community groups.

“Judging so many high calibre entries was no easy feat. We saw applications from so many individuals and groups going above and beyond to protect our taonga (precious natural resources) and ensuring New Zealand’s biosecurity is resilient and effective.”

Acting Deputy Director-General Biosecurity New Zealand Steve Gilbert says the Biosecurity Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions that so many New Zealanders make to safeguard our biosecurity system.

“Now in its fifth year, the awards recognise and celebrate our biosecurity champions. These are people who are stepping up to do something to protect and preserve our environment, primary industries and way of life.”

Award winners will be announced at a dinner in Wellington in February 2022.

New Zealand Biosecurity Awards 2021 local finalists:

BioHeritage Challenge Community Award
Pest Free Howick Ward

Kura (School) Award
Howick School’s Moth Plant Competition, Auckland

AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award
Ethan McCormick – Pest Free Howick Ward and Friends of Mangemangeroa