New Zealand’s biosecurity champions are honoured

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.

“These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says.

Linda Peacock, of Kiwifruit Vine Health in Mount Maunganui, received the Minister’s Biosecurity Award, which recognises an individual, group or organisation that has at least 10 years of continuous outstanding contribution to biosecurity in New Zealand.

“Linda is a long-standing, passionate, empathetic, focused, and enthusiastic contributor to our biosecurity system,” Damien O’Connor said. “Linda is a worthy winner of this award – she has led from the grassroots.

“For more than 30 years, Linda has worked collaboratively with growers and technical teams from all growing regions, taking science-based lessons and turning them into easily understood, practical solutions which have saved vast numbers of kiwifruit growers from undue stress and loss.”

A Special Award was won by the New Zealand kiwifruit industry for its outstanding commitment to biosecurity.

“The kiwifruit industry has responded to biosecurity incursions with commitment, foresight, compassion, determination and – perhaps most importantly – collaboration,” Damien O’Connor said.

“It has built pathways to recovery that have led to a sector that is not only at the peak of the food and fibre sectors economically, but is a powerhouse in biosecurity.”

The New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award winner was Māori-owned dairy-processing company Miraka for boosting biosecurity awareness and culture change on-farm.

“These awards acknowledge that our food and fibre sectors, tourism, biodiversity and economy are underpinned by a strong biosecurity system and that it takes all New Zealanders to protect it now and into the future,” Damien O’Connor said.

The full list of New Zealand Biosecurity Award winners is available at

 Department of Conservation Community Pihinga Award for new projects/initiatives

  • New Zealand Marine Studies Centre – Marine Meter Squared (Mm2): a nationwide citizen science project encouraging the public to gather information about biodiversity

Department of Conservation Community Kahiwi Award for established projects/initiatives

  • Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust – ambition and determination of the community to create and sustain a pest-free sanctuary.

 Te Tira Whakamātaki Māori Award

  • Te Rawhiti 3B2 Ahu Whenua Trust – pest control and assisting with native bird re-locations in the Bay of Islands

Kura (School) Award

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

GIA Industry Award and New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award

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

Eagle Technology Local and Central Government Award

  • Dr Mary van Andel, MPI – strategic leadership for Mycoplasma bovis and COVID-19 responses

Bio-Protection Research Centre Science Award

  • Onside – network technology to inform risk-based testing, eradicating biosecurity incursions in the food and fibre sector

Mondiale Innovation Award

  • Groundtruth Ltd –, a leading software solution, now the largest trapping database in the country, for pest management and outcome monitoring in New Zealand.

AsureQuality Emerging Leader Award

  • Thomas (Tame) Malcolm from Te Tira Whakamātaki and Te Arawa Waka – more than a decade’s experience – and commitment – in environmental management roles across the country.

Minister’s Biosecurity Award

  • Linda Peacock from Kiwifruit Vine Health – worked collaboratively with growers and technical teams for more than 30 years from all growing regions.

 Special Award

    • New Zealand kiwifruit industry for outstanding commitment to biosecurity

Source: Minister of Biosecurity

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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