Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tough competition for Biosecurity Awards finalists

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Ethan McCormick, right, earned the AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award. File photo

Local rodent and pest plant programmes have been named as finalists in the 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity featuring in three of eight categories.

“The awards judging panel has told us this year’s entries were the highest quality ever seen in the six years of the awards, with close scores among the top applications in every category,” says Biosecurity New Zealand’s deputy director-general Stuart Anderson.

This year’s finalists cover a huge range of New Zealand’s biosecurity challenges.

“They’re inspiring New Zealanders tackling everything from decade-long projects focusing on thousands of hectares, to new innovations taking on biosecurity through molecules.”

“New Zealand has one of the strongest multi-layered biosecurity systems in the world. It protects our food and fibre sector where annual export revenue reached more than $53 billion in the year to June 30, 2022.

“As the threats we face grow in scale and complexity, it’s the innovation and hard mahi from people and organisations like our finalists that help protect our environment, economy, culture and people.”

The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards celebrate the businesses, iwi, researchers and community groups doing vital work to help protect New Zealand’s biosecurity. Each category recognises the complexity of an effective, sustainable biosecurity system.

Chair of the judging panel, Dr Edwin Massey, said while it was a difficult year for judging given the incredible quality of the entries, it highlighted the diverse work of everyday New Zealanders who maintained and improved our biosecurity system in the face of increasing and evolving threats.

“The 2022 finalists are working in our ngahere (forests), our mountains and waterways, our offshore islands and our urban environments. The pests they are controlling include catfish, aquatic weeds, wilding pines, blackgrass, goats, rats and the giant willow aphid, to name just a few.

“These biosecurity champions come from schools, community groups, local and central Government, businesses, and research organisations. And they all share a common purpose to make a difference in biosecurity to protect our country’s economy, biodiversity and way of life.”

The Awards have been held annually since 2017.

The winners will be announced at the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards event held in Auckland on October 31.

The New Zealand Biosecurity Awards 2022 local finalists:
BioHeritage Challenge Community Award
·         Pest Free Howick Ward

New Zealand Biosecurity Kura (School) Award
·         Howick Schools Moth Plant Competition

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

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