Project to future-proof our biosecurity system

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has launched a new project which will further strengthen and future-proof New Zealand’s biosecurity system.

The project, Biosecurity 2025, will update and replace the founding document of New Zealand’s biosecurity system, the 2003 Biosecurity Strategy, with broad input from stakeholders, iwi and the New Zealand public. 

“Government and industry have set a goal of doubling the value of our exports by 2025, and an effective biosecurity system is fundamental to achieving this,” says Mr Guy.

“That is why biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister, and why the time is right to take a longer term view. Since last year, I have been discussing with officials the need to better prepare ourselves for future biosecurity threats, challenges and opportunities.

“As the fruit fly discovery in Auckland shows, our biosecurity system is facing ever-increasing pressures due to factors such as growing international trade, greater mobility of people and increasingly complex global supply chains.

“Funding for biosecurity is higher now than when we took office. In recent years, we have beefed up the frontline on the border with 130 new quarantine inspectors, the number of detector dog teams has increased from 26 to 40, and we have 15 new x-ray machines installed at our international airports. 

“And beyond the border, looking across the wider biosecurity system, many more improvements have been made.  We are now partnering with four industries – and more to come –under the Government Industry Agreements on Readiness and Response.

Biosecurity 2025 will provide a clear direction for the biosecurity system and identify any changes or improvements needed over the next ten years.  The project will be led by the Ministry for Primary Industries and overseen by an independent panel of three peer reviewers.

“MPI will be asking New Zealanders how they see the biosecurity system functioning now, what issues and pressures it is likely to face, and how the system might operate to protect all our interests, through to 2025,” says Mr Guy.

The three peer reviewers are:

Dr John Hellstrom, who has held many key biosecurity roles in government, and was chair of the former Biosecurity Council when that Council led the work to develop the 2003 Strategy.

Professor Mick Clout of The University of Auckland, a conservation ecologist and former chair of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee – the body that succeeded the Biosecurity Council as an outcome of the 2003 Strategy.

Glenice Paine, chair of the Te Atiawa Trust, an accredited RMA Commissioner and prior chair of the Environmental Protection Authority’s Maori Advisory Committee.

A draft Direction Statement will be developed and shared with a wide range of New Zealanders.  It will cover expectations of what the system should deliver by 2025 including priorities for action.  The final Direction Statement is expected to be confirmed by the end of the year.

Mr Guy launched Biosecurity 2025 at The Future of the Heartland Forum in North Canterbury this afternoon. 

People with an interest in participating in the Biosecurity 2025 engagement can register their interest by emailing

More information will also be available at