Calling all biosecurity champions

Entries are now open for the 2023 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.

These awards recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions to protecting our country against unwanted pests and diseases. It is our way of celebrating people and organisations across New Zealand who are contributing to the country’s  biosecurity.

“There are many incredible people across New Zealand in communities, schools, iwi and hapū, businesses, government, and their backyards doing their part to protect and preserve our country’s rich and unique biodiversity,” says Biosecurity New Zealand’s deputy-director general Stuart Anderson.

“Their important work plays a critical part in ensuring New Zealand’s biosecurity system remains resilient, effective, and world class.

“A strong biosecurity system takes all of us. We are grateful to receive continued support for these Awards from our fantastic sponsors – AsureQuality, Eagle Technology, Government Industry Agreement (GIA), Mondiale VGL, and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage – we couldn’t do it without them.”

Previous finalists and winners have spanned the entire biosecurity system, from collaborations between central and local government, to iwi, businesses and community organisations.

Last year’s Supreme Award winner, Wilderlab, took out the top spot for their work in developing technology that can reveal the native and pest species that are present in just a cupful of water.

Shaun Wilkinson, founder and CEO of Wilderlab, says the laboratory’s success in the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards drove a sharp increase in the uptake of environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring across the country.

“The recognition of our laboratory has drawn attention to the enormous possibilities that emerging technologies such as eDNA can offer. Thousands of kilometres of Aotearoa’s waterways are being monitored for tens of thousands of species every week, enabling early detections of unwanted organisms.”

There are nine New Zealand Biosecurity Awards categories.  More than one can be entered.

  • BioHeritage Challenge Community Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Kura (School) Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Māori Award
  • GIA Industry Award
  • Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Science Award
  • Mondiale VGL Innovation Award
  • AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award  (nomination only)
  • Minister’s Award  (nomination only)

All category winners are eligible for the New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award.

Advice on which category to enter can be found here – Categories and criteria – 

Entries close at 5pm on Monday 31 July.

To find out more about the Awards and to enter, visit Ko Tātou This Is Us – Biosecurity Awards – 

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries 

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog