Biosecurity Awards celebrate the champions protecting New Zealand

The 2020 Biosecurity Award finalists named today represent outstanding contributions by biosecurity champions making a difference to protect New Zealand’s unique environment from pests and diseases, says the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The 27 finalists named out of a pool of 70 entries include a kindergarten where its pupils are learning to become guardians of the bush, and volunteers who commit their weekends to cleaning up their local river.

This year has seen more Kiwi kids taking part with the addition of the Kura (School) Award.

Judging panel chairman Dr John Hellstrom says the efforts of all of the high-calibre entrants – both individuals and organisations who devote their time and passion into protecting what we have – were outstanding.

“It was really hard to pick only 3 finalists in each category, and there was a lot of thoughtful debate amongst the judging panel.

“There were also many examples of people who were making huge personal commitments to biosecurity on behalf of us all,” Dr Hellstrom says.

The finalists represent a diverse range of individuals, teams, iwi, schools and community groups, businesses, government agencies and research organisations.

The Biosecurity Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate some of the exceptional contributions that so many New Zealanders make to safeguard our biosecurity system, says Penny Nelson, head of Biosecurity New Zealand.

“Every entrant deserves recognition and support because they are all stepping up to do something to protect and preserve our environment, primary industries and way of life.

“Their magnificent mahi is fundamental in keeping our biosecurity system strong, and every day they are putting in the hard yards to ensure New Zealand continues to have a world-leading biosecurity system,” she says.

Award winners will be announced in November.

The finalists are –

Department of Conservation Community Pihinga Award for new projects/initiatives

New Zealand Marine Studies Centre – Seashore monitoring for marine pests: A citizen science approach

Better Border Biosecurity/Auckland Botanic Gardens – The Biosecurity Trail at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Predator Free Wellington – Miramar eradication project

 Department of Conservation Community Kahiwi Award for established projects/initiatives

Windy Hill Rosali Catchment Trust – Windy Hill Sanctuary, Great Barrier Island

Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust

Friends of Waiwhetu Stream – Against the odds

 Te Tira Whakamātaki Māori Award

Ngāti Porou – Graeme Atkins

Te Rawhiti 3B2 Ahu Whenua Trust – Nga Kaitiaki o Ipipiri Herenga Waaka (Guardians of Bay of Islands)

Te Poho o Rawiri Marae – Whaia Tītīrangi

 Kura (School) Award

Kerikeri Kindergarten Ngahere Programme

Lynmore Primary School – Lynmore Hunga Tiaki

St Paul’s Collegiate School – Understanding biosecurity future proofing strategies in New Zealand secondary schools

 GIA Industry Award

Fruit Fly Council – Fruit Fly Response 2019

Miraka – Te Ara Miraka: Achieving enhanced biosecurity awareness and culture change on-farm

Plant Research (NZ) Ltd – New Zealand achieves a world-first eradication of pea weevil

Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award

Waikato Regional Council – Waikato alligator weed management programme

Wellington City Council – Animal pest management dashboard for Wellington City

Mary van Andel, MPI – Strategic leadership for Mycoplasma bovis and COVID-19 responses

 Bio-Protection Research Centre Science Award

Victoria University of Wellington – Mātauranga Māori and molecular science: working together to stop kauri dieback and other plant diseases.

OnSide – Network technology to inform risk-based testing, eradicating biosecurity incursions in the primary sector

Epi-Interactive – Scientific excellence strengthening New Zealand biosecurity and One Health frameworks

Mondiale Innovation Award

Onside – Network technology to inform risk-based testing, eradicating biosecurity incursions in the primary sector

Predator Free Wellington – Miramar eradication project

Groundtruth Ltd –

AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award

Ethan McCormick from Howick College

Yanika Te Paea Reiter from the University of Waikato

Thomas (Tame) Malcolm from Te Tira Whakamātaki and Te Arawa Waka

 Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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